The cloud has become an essential part of conducting modern business, with literally millions of companies around the world relying on cloud-based data security regimes despite having little understanding of the underlying technology in play. If you really want your IT security regime to protect your cloud data, you can’t skirt by and outsource cybersecurity to the lowest bidder. Business owners and senior corporate professionals must take a hands-on approach to cloud data security, which is often harder than it looks.
Luckily, you don’t have to struggle any longer. Here are 5 practical tips for cloud data security that you should consider before your next IT investment.
Don’t think you can leave it to the geek squad
Far too many business owners or corporate professionals are outsourcing the entirety of their cloud data security operations to the geek squad, also known as the average IT team at any company. These IT workers were hired because they’re tech-savvy, the argument goes, so of course they should be responsible for the entirety of our cybersecurity operations. In reality, however, robust cloud data security demands that every member of a team is at least decently up to date with IT security practices and has a basic understanding of the technology they’re working with. Otherwise, a data breach is going to occur sooner rather than later.
With humans being the weakest link in the information security chain, it’s imperative that you don’t make the foolish mistake of leaving IT security to IT professionals alone. Make sure everyone is on board, or your cloud data is going to be public before you know it.
Learn how to move data to a backup site
Many people think that relying on the cloud means you don’t have to concern yourself with backing up your data, let alone with moving that backup to an offsite location. What far too few people understand is that there’s really no such thing as “the cloud,” however, as it’s really just someone else’s computer being operated very far away. This means that you can’t sit idly by and expect your data to be waiting for you in the event of a server crash or hack but must instead take active steps to protect your information in the long-term. This could include getting commercial insurance in case the worst happens.
There is no perfect way of moving data to a backup site, and anyone who argues otherwise is just trying to win over your business. Nevertheless, it’s worth reviewing backup methods that you can rely upon in addition to the cloud for keeping your data safe and accessible.
Know what you’re storing
In this day and age, businesses and individuals alike produce tremendous sums of information in little to no time at all. This has the unfortunate consequence of leading many of us to save and collect things that we’re not even aware of – when your company is generating thousands of documents, it’s only natural that some are going to get shuttled away into storage without someone reviewing them first.
This is a dangerous practice, however, and must be avoided at all times – if you don’t know what you’re storing, you don’t know what’s at risk of being accessed by hackers or lost in the event of a data breach.
Try to avoid storing sensitive data on the cloud if you’re worried that information could damage your company’s profitability if it were to somehow go public. As simple as it may seem, too, avoid putting passwords or other sensitive IT information into the cloud; you’d be amazed at how many companies literally upload access to their sensitive information by mistakenly including log-in information when storing data in the cloud. Remember that the cloud isn’t the right place for everything.
Know common scams to watch out for
Any business that’s doing well will inevitably find itself to be the victim of an attempted hack or data breach, largely because scammers want to profit from your success. This means that your company should know common scams to watch out for if you’re doing well and are growing cautious about the possibility of a data breach which could rock you back on your heels. Phishing scams are still as popular as ever, for instance, and while they’re dismissed as a joke by some their simplicity is what makes them so effective for hackers in the first place.
Hold stakeholders accountable
Finally, you can only ensure robust data security in the cloud if you hold all responsible stakeholders accountable when things go wrong. If you’re outsourcing your cloud services to a third-party, for instance, it’s still on you when there’s a data breach – after all, you’re the person responsible for the pivot to a third-party who was evidently incapable of keeping that information secure.
Making sure that those who violate the rules and cut corners are punished is an essential element of IT security. Keep that in mind, and your cloud data security will be more robust in no time.