Due to the tremendous benefits that it can provide, cloud computing has become much more prevalent in the business setting. However, as with any other tech innovation, security concerns must be addressed to minimize the risk of a cyber attack.
And while it may be tempting to think that if you contract with a cloud service provider, your data will be secure. In some instances, that may be true. But it’s not guaranteed. Doing some upfront research on the cloud service provider can give you a good idea of their security measures. But at the end of the day, it’s crucial to remember that the responsibility to keep your data safe ultimately lies with you.
Several measures can be taken to protect your data. Whether you implement them yourself or verify that it is a protection offered by a cloud service provider, these security measures are a great way to prevent or thwart a cyber attack.
- Multifactor Authentication: Multifactor authentication is becoming more common as a standard security measure. It was designed to address the security risk of using passwords alone, which are easy to forget, lose, or inadvertently share with others. Multifactor authentication still requires a password, but in addition to it, the user must also provide additional information, such as a pin, an answer to a secret question, or biometric data. It could also allow you to provide access from a smart device.
- Strong Passwords & Password Managers: While multifactor authentication is growing more popular, passwords are still required to shore up digital security in many settings. And they are often effective, particularly if the organization requires strong passwords. Strong passwords often have character requirements and must be a minimum length. In addition, many companies opt for passphrases rather than passwords because they are much more secure. But with increasing or changing password requirements, it can often be harder for users to keep track of all passwords. Rather than trying to remember passwords or writing them down (which poses another security risk), using a password manager can be a secure way to keep track of all passwords and ensure they are strong.
- Encryption: Encryption has been a core component of cybersecurity for decades and remains integral in ensuring security in a cloud environment. Encryption on the cloud operates the same as in other digital environments. It translates your data into a code, which is required to decrypt the data. Only authorized users have the decryption code, which means that data is protected from unauthorized or malicious users. Even if someone couldaccess encrypted data, it is unreadable without the decryption key.
- Restrict Access for Third-Party Apps: Many third-party apps have tremendous access to data. Some apps may even be authorized to change or delete your data. Unfortunately, most users do not read through the full terms and conditions when working with an app to determine the potential data risks of using it. But taking the time to vet these apps can be worth it if it ensures you partner with reputable companies that do not put your data at unnecessary risk.
- Limiting User Access: Even with cloud computing, organizations should ensure that users only have access to the data, files, and platforms they need to complete their tasks. Access limits ensure individuals do not get access to data they do not need. Limiting access to any data is an essential way to minimize the risk that someone will put the data at risk.
- Vulnerability Scanning and Risk Assessments: Cybercriminals continue to evolve in step with the technology. As soon as organizations figure out how to address one threat, a new method emerges. This is often why regular updates must be performed since security patches often provide enhancements that protect from evolving and emerging threats.
- Back-Up Data Regularly: Some cyber attacks, like ransomware attacks, rely on restricting your ability to access your organization’s data. If you can’t access your data, it often cripples your ability to operate. The best way to mitigate this threat in a cloud computing environment is by proactively backing up your data. In this scenario, even if your data is hijacked, you will likely still be able to conduct business.
Cybersecurity is crucial in any digital environment, including cloud computing. Implementing these measures and any additional actions that may strengthen security can make the cloud much more secure for you. To learn more about hosted cloud services, contact Sagacent Technologies today.
Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning, and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.