Cloud computing brings businesses many advantages and are more affordable than ever before. But, this doesn’t mean cloud services don’t come without risk. Using cloud-based programs and storing data offsite can open businesses up to a range of potential security threats. Therefore, it’s important to know how to protect your business data on the cloud.
Ensuring that the proper cloud security and backup measures are in place can be tricky. But, there are a few basic actions that businesses should take that will provide a big step toward staying safe on the cloud.
Basic steps to protect your business data on the cloud
Update Passwords Regularly
Passwords can often be the only barrier between a hacker and your business information. There are several programs attackers can use to guess or “crack” passwords. One of the key ways you can protect your business data on the cloud is to have all employees regularly update their login credentials and use smart password management.
- Updating passwords every three months. The process for making sure this happens can vary. Some programs can be set in advance to require that employees change their passwords at particular intervals. For systems that don’t force this update, business leaders may have to manually request that employees update their credentials.
- Use a different password for each login. If a hacker happens to discover one password and the same one is used for all accounts, he or she could potentially figure out access to other systems instead of just the one.
- Don’t reuse passwords.
- Create strong passwords. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team offers tips for creating passwords that will help protect your business data on the cloud.
Opt for Two-Step Verifications
If your cloud systems and apps offer a two-step verification process for logging in, enable that feature, or require that your employees do so. This will help protect your business data on the cloud, even if passwords become compromised.
Enabling two-step verification (also known as two-factor authentication) adds an extra layer of security to accounts. In most instances, after a user correctly enters a password to log in to a cloud-based service, the service will send the user a code via text message or email. The user will have to enter this unique code during login to get access to the account. This decreases the likelihood that cybercriminals who have stolen passwords will be able to log in to company accounts.
We are seeing more and more clients ask about this feature and always recommend enabling it to help protect your business data on the cloud.
Ensure File Encryption
File encryption essentially turns data into a secret code. To read an encrypted file, the user must have access to a secret key or password that enables decryption and the ability to view it. Encryption is one of the most important ways to protect your business data on the cloud.
There are different types and levels of file encryption. Options include encryption of files where they are stored and encryption of data only as it is transmitted. It can get a little complicated. For the sake of this post, our recommendation to help protect your business data on the cloud is to consider choosing online services and apps that provide their own encryption where files are stored. This means no one other than an authorized user can see it – not even the software provider.
Thoroughly research encryption features when considering cloud-based services. If they don’t provide the level of encryption you need, you may want to opt to set up the ability to encrypt files prior to uploading them to the cloud. Ask questions. Consider options. Decide what level of risk may be acceptable in order to best protect your business data on the cloud.
We are dedicated to helping our clients stay safe on the cloud. Whether it’s setting up systems we manage to require regular password updates and two-step verifications or providing advice on cloud-based programs that offer the right level of encryption, we do our best to protect your business data on the cloud.
If you’re interested in learning how we can help your company stay safe on the cloud, contact us today.