In this modern business age, more and more business is undertaken using computers, the internet, and cloud technology. Over the last couple of years, due to the coronavirus pandemic, millions of staff have been forced to work from home. This, in turn, has led companies to employ new ways of working remotely, including the massive adoption of cloud-based technology.
The benefits of cloud technology and servers are huge. Not only does it make all relevant data accessible to workers all around the globe, but it also allows for more secure data storage and use – if looked after properly. So, what are the best ways to keep your cloud secure? Read on for tips from professionals.
The Threat of Cybercrime
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to cloud-based computing. Namely, the fact that so many hackers and cybercriminals quickly realized that there was so much data available to either steal, manipulate, or hold ransom. There are over 2,200 cyberattacks every single day, mostly targeted at businesses. So, if you’re using cloud servers, you should always have your data security in mind.
Traditional tools used to protect individual computers such as antivirus software and firewalls can form part of your security systems. In fact, you should keep these in use forever. However, cloud security does require a few extra layers to help keep everything maintained, as there is not just one way in or out of your cloud server, rendering a traditional firewall useless in the cloud.
Potential Data Loss
Another issue with using cloud-based servers is the potential for data loss. Yes, data can be lost on any computer, not just in cloud computing. But, with the cloud, there is the temptation to chuck everything in one place, especially if you have secured it properly. This is dangerous, but there are also things you can do to help prevent data loss and ensure you have backed everything up correctly. Using a single cloud network for everything is foolish. You should ensure you are backing up data on encrypted local hard drives and in various cloud-based locations.
Employ Cloud Workload Protection Tools
When thinking about cloud security in more detail, and knowing that traditional software isn’t enough to protect it, you’ll want to look at more cloud-specific protection tools. Nowadays, cloud workload protection software is the best thing you can get to help keep your data secure. This kind of software doesn’t just monitor what’s going in and out of your network, it also keeps logs of and monitors any potential weaknesses.
Why does it do this? Well, traditional tools allow you to see where a breach may have occurred. However, by this point it is often too late, meaning you have already had data exposed, stolen, or otherwise tampered with. Modern cloud security posture management tools, you can check for weak ‘zones’ in your cloud security in advance, meaning that you know exactly where to put a bit of extra effort in. Effectively, these tools monitor and advise on potential security threats, both before, during, and after they happen.
Train Your Employees
It’s worth noting that all the tools in the world are useless if you have poorly trained staff looking after your cloud security. Even the best systems in the world can be fatally corrupted or leaked by an untrained or poorly managed employee. Your staff – all of them – should be educated on why the company assets are important, what role they have to play in that, and the benefits of doing so. Staff given this sort of responsibility and training are far more likely to actively try to look after your data better.
Speaking of staff, on many cloud platforms you will be able to set permissions as to who can access different kinds of data. For example, you may want to set roles where only sales staff can access data including sales reports. You may want to set different levels of access for more senior members of staff. Whichever way your cloud provider allows you to, you should consider permission-based access. Simply put, not everyone needs access to every piece of data. This may also make it harder for a hacker to get through each layer of permissions.
Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt!
One of the main words you’ll hear when discussing cloud security is encryption. Encryption means adding extra layers of password-secured protection around your data. Unless the password is provided, the data is effectively ‘scrambled’ into a unique code, making it impossible to read. Most cloud servers provide encryption as standard, but it’s always best to check. You need every connection, every data transfer, and every folder to be encrypted. Without it, you are simply inviting hackers to open the door and take a look at what you have left inside.
This may sound crazy, but it’s actually one of the best ways to make sure your encryption and cloud protection software are both working. Either employ a trained hacker or piece of software designed to crack through encryption, then set them loose on your systems. Doing this internally places no risk on your data. What it does do, however, is help you analyze any potential flaws in your system.
For example, if a hacker manages to get into your data through a certain access point, you have found a problem that needs fixing. Alternatively, you may find your encrypted data has been incredibly easy to decipher, rendering your server’s encryption less than adequate. On a brighter note, you may find that no person or machine can crack into your cloud. In an ideal world, this would be the scenario. However, if it is not, all is not lost. You have helped yourself find flaws in your systems. These can now be targeted, repaired, or replaced, leaving you, once again, with a perfectly safe and secure cloud data system.
It’s simple, really. With the right tools, the right training, and the right people, you can constantly feel safe and secure in the knowledge that your cloud-based data, software, and other information is being looked after properly. Keeping everything safe on multiple clouds or backups will help ensure your business never goes through a digital crisis.