Cloud computing has become a standard business activity, with people needing to access key data via their mobile devices while on the move in a world where we are expected to be always ‘on’ and always accessible. Some IT policy makers have expressed reservations over cloud storage, the primary concern pertaining to its security, but all it takes to safeguard cloud-stored data is a few actions which are not enormously difficult to implement.
Use strong passwords: This may seem insultingly simple, but the truth is that thousands of businesses worldwide use feeble passwords that are scandalously easy for hackers to guess. Use a variety of passwords for separate logins and create different variations of numbers, letters and symbols so that your passwords are all but impossible to decipher.
Inspect cloud storage devices: Check your cloud storage to see what applications are installed and remove those which you no longer use. Do the same with your files, but be careful not to delete files which you still need.
Inspect your files: Go through all of your files to see if there are any you can delete and ensure that all important files are backed up elsewhere in case of a cloud security breach. With especially critical files; it is advisable to remove it to local storage or encrypt it so that your provider cannot access it.
Go with a top quality service provider: Not all cloud service providers are created equal. Some are far more transparent in their terms and far more committed to safeguarding your data than others. If a provider is unclear about their terms or allows themselves access to your data, don’t do business with them.
Spread the load: Once you’ve eliminated service providers that can’t be trusted, utilise as many other providers as possible so that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. At least this way if one of your accounts is hacked, only the files in that account may be affected and the rest will be safe.
By ensuring that you have taken all of these steps to maximise the security of your cloud, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your data’s safety is all but guaranteed, while also being able to fully enjoy cloud computing benefits such as near-universal access for those to whom access has been granted, being able to access data even if a device has been stolen and being able to wipe your data remotely in the unlikely event of a security breach. For more on cloud computing, here’s a practical infographic from Exigent Networks (http://www.exigentnetworks.ie/).