Cloud computing has been a blessing to the modern world of technology. It allows data storage and management, but also helps in accessing data anytime, anywhere on the net. While cloud computing has a lot of benefits, when it comes to concerns regarding security- we just can’t be too sure as to how secure the data is- particularly if your data is stored in a public cloud.
The security issues faced can be widely categorized as to the issues faced by the cloud provider and the ones faced by the customer. Cloud service providers must ensure that their infrastructure is secure and their user’s data is protected. Meanwhile, users must make sure that apps are password protected and take other measures to have security as well.
Some of the most common cloud computing security risks that prevail users are- loss of sensitive data, malware infections, violations of existing regulatory controls, insider threat, hacking account threat as well as abuse of cloud service etc.
However, the possible threats to the data don’t mean that they cannot be secured. Cloud computing security can be made effective there are proper measures in place. Here are some tips that can help you achieve the same –
1. Where is your Data?
You should know where your data lives. If you are unaware of your data’s location, then how are you going to secure it? Of course, there are firewalls, intrusion detection etc and most preventions can keep out the hackers, but how do you know where your data goes when it is time to terminate your service or if/when the cloud service provider shuts down their business? Knowing where your data exactly is, goes a long way in securing your data in the cloud. Dedicated hardware plays a crucial part that permits cloud services to pass the most stringent security guidelines.
2. Keep a back-up of your data
Having a back-up of your data is always a good idea. You can have electronic copies of the data so that you can continue to access them should the original gets corrupted or lost. You may either choose to back them up in some other cloud storage or manually back up in an external storage device.
3. Avoid storing sensitive data on the cloud
Despite advances in cloud computing security, there are still rising number of identity thefts that grow every year. Therefore, it is always advisable to avoid storing sensitive information like credit card/ debit card details or passwords etc., on the cloud. Sensitive data also include intellectual property like patents and copyrights.
4. Make sure your datacentre make security a priority
By knowing which datacentre and server your data is being stored at, you can examine them for all applicable security measures that are in place. You can check if they are SAS 70, SSAE 16, SOC 2 audited and whether they have clients that are HIPAA or PCI certified. Managed IT services can also contribute greatly by providing their expertise to make your applications, data and business more resilient. Plus, there are cloud providers and reputable datacentres that offer services like antivirus, intrusion detection and managed firewalls etc.
5. Opt for cloud services that encrypt data
For better privacy always be look out on cloud storage services that offer local encryption for your data. This delivers twofold security as the files will have to be decrypted to gain access. This method secures your data even from service providers and administrators. Taking a few pre-emptive actions like this around data encryption can make your information more secure.
6. Encrypt your data
Prior to uploading your files on the cloud, it is always good to encrypt the data- even if the cloud storage automatically encrypts them. There are numerous third-party encryption tools available that will put on passwords and encryption to files after you are done editing them thus, they are encrypted before uploading.
7. Always Test
The only way to make sure something is secure is to test it. Vulnerability scanning and assessments are just as essential in the cloud as they are outside the cloud. Some companies, especially those housing sensitive data hire skilled ethical-hacker to test their security provisions.
If it is possible for you to get access unauthorized to your data, someone else can too.
Cloud storages come with its benefits but it is necessary to make note that security assurances in the cloud are possible but not guaranteed. Therefore, like any other IT project, there are some pre-emptive security measures that you must make sure of. Thus, adopting a few measures like the ones given above go a long way when keeping files safe on and off the cloud. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry!