Technology

Running Your Business In The Cloud: Who Holds the Keys?

Sara Eastwood-Richardson
Posted on September 25, 2018
The Cloud has the world rethinking data storage and is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday life. So, securing data — credit cards, client profiles, etc. — is something to take very seriously.(Creative Commons photo)
The Cloud has the world rethinking data storage and is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday life. So, securing data — credit cards, client profiles, etc. — is something to take very seriously.(Creative Commons photo)

Many operators running businesses by way of a cloud-based operating system focus on the retail market and think they don’t have to be overly concerned with safeguarding client data because most retail work is not repetitive and information is not stored. On the other hand, operators on the corporate side who are contract driven are overly concerned with confidentiality to the point of paranoia.

Either way, I argue the Cloud has the world rethinking data storage and is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday life. So, securing data — credit cards, client profiles, etc. — is something to take very seriously. What to do?

Ultimately, there are two basic choices: Make sure you are using a cloud service with trustworthy upload and download software that is open-source and has been validated by independent security researchers. Or, use trusted open-source encryption software to encrypt your data before uploading it to the cloud; these are available for all operating systems and are generally free or very low-cost.

For those of you who need to be pointed in the right direction, I’ve done some legwork for you staring with five tips for securing Cloud data I found via Hackernoon:

1. Backup Data Locally: One of the most important things to consider while managing data is to ensure you have backups. It is always good to have electronic copies of your data so you can continue accessing them even if the original gets lost or corrupted. You can either choose to back up in some other cloud storage, or manually back up in an external storage device. To be on the safer side, it would be great if you could do both since the latter will come in handy in times of poor or no Internet connectivity.

2. Use Cloud Services That Encrypt Data: To enjoy better privacy, always look for cloud services that offer local encryption for your data. This provides double security as the files will have to be decrypted to gain access. This method protects your data even from service providers and administrators.

3. Encrypt Your Data: Before you upload your files to the cloud, it is always beneficial to encrypt your data, even if the cloud storage automatically encrypts them. There are many third-party encryption tools that will apply passwords and encryption to files once you are done editing them so they are encrypted before uploading.

4. Install Anti-Virus Software: All the above security measures could be taken to secure your data, but sometimes the problem is not cloud security, but the system you have logged in from. Hackers can easily access your account if there is no proper protection in place for your system. In such cases, you are exposing yourself to viruses that provide penetration points.

5. Make Passwords Stronger: This might be something you have repeatedly heard. But still, it is important to provide stronger passwords to prevent your files from being hacked. There are sites offering tips on how to form strong passwords. Apart from creating a strong and unique password, it is also important to change them frequently, and not share them with anyone. Most login pages have additional identification questions to confirm an authorized user.

We use the Cloud for our iPhone photos and music. We even store personal sensitive data like our Social Security number to the Cloud. There are thousands of operators in this industry using Cloud-based operating systems. Let’s be sure we aren’t taking any security measures for granted. Don’t throw caution to the wind on this one. Cyber security is now one of the biggest industry and global challenges of our day.

Related Topics: cloud computing, data security, LCT Publisher, Sara Eastwood-Richardson, software

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