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Cloud Security Best Practices

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Cloud storage is here to stay. Public cloud storage services, such as DropBox and GoogleDrive can provide a simple and convenient way to store and access personal files from any device, as well as a way to share large files with others. Storing files and media in the cloud also reduces the amount of hard drive and network space needed to run personal computers, as well as small and large organizations. More and more, it’s becoming the preferred storage setup. According to Businesswire, “Cloud Storage Market is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate of 29.73% to reach a total market size of US$92.488 billion by 2022, from US$25.171 billion in 2017.”

But storing sensitive workplace information on these services poses potential security threats, because it places the information outside of an organization’s control. If the cloud storage service is hacked, which is not uncommon, the sensitive information could be exposed.

In fact, over the past ten years, major tech players have experienced cloud-based security breaches, including Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, LinkedIn, and Apple iCloud. These breaches compromised the private information of millions of user accounts.

For other businesses, as well as individuals who use cloud storage (such as Dropbox and Apple iCloud), many of the other security threats fall into the same familiar categories as overall cybersecurity:

  • Loss of sensitive data
  • Violation of existing regulatory controls
  • Malware infections
  • Hacked interfaces
  • Abuse of cloud service
  • Insider threat
  • Hijacking of accounts

Cloud service providers must ensure that their infrastructure is secure and their users’ data is protected. However, customers must make sure they password-protect their apps and have other verification measures in place. For optimum security, follow these best practices:

  • Never store workplace information on public cloud storage services, unless you have explicit, written approval.
  • Whenever storing information on public cloud storage services, encrypt the data before uploading it, so that even if the service is compromised, your data won’t be.
  • Back up data offline.
  • Avoid storing sensitive information in the cloud.
  • If possible, use a cloud storage system that encrypts data.
  • Keep operating systems and antivirus/anti-malware software up-to-date with latest updates.
  • Create strong passwords. No matter what technology you’re using, passwords remain the primary gatekeepers to your assets. Create passwords that are as long as possible but easy to remember.

Chances are, you’re already using cloud storage, either at home or at work. Be sure and follow these best practices to reduce the likelihood that you’ll become the victim of a cybercriminal.

TechGuard S.H.I.E.L.D offers training on Secure Cloud Computing.  To learn more about this and other cybersecurity related topics, talk to one of our experts and request a trial account today.

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