Bullet-Proof Your Cloud Security

Simple ways to ensure your data are impenetrable

August 2015

Use of cloud storage has grown as a convenient solution for businesses to keep years’ worth of company information without requiring stacks of hard drives in the office or at an off-site location. It also reduces worries about backing up documents, because the files can be accessed from any computer anywhere. The cloud allows members of your team to collaborate remotely using its file-sharing capabilities.

But as the amount of data you house in the cloud grows, what steps can you take to assure your data is protected?

Manage Your Passwords

Is your cloud password the same as the one for your email, online bank and half a dozen other accounts? If so, it’s time to change it up. Rather than trying to squeeze a new password into your brain or creating an Excel spreadsheet of all your passwords that has a chance of getting hacked or lost, sign up for a password manager. These apps allow you to store and organize all of your passwords in an encrypted account that permits a large and varied volume of passwords. LastPass is the most established of these, but Dashlane, KeePass and 1Password are also worth considering.

Set Up Two-Step Verification

This is an efficient way to prevent getting hacked. It verifies not only something the user knows (a password) but also something the user has (such as a phone), by sending a code to your phone at the time you attempt a login. Just as an ATM machine requires both a card swipe and a PIN number, two-step verification offers an added level of security. A number of cloud services offer this, including Dropbox, which sends you a six-digit code via text message when you try logging on with a new machine.

While in your password settings, double-check that you will receive an email notification if someone tries to reset your password, and select security questions with answers that cannot be easily found.

Review Your Connections

Go over what devices, apps and platforms connect to your cloud storage. You can find this under the settings tab in most cloud applications. Be sure all the devices listed are current and accurate.

For a business that syncs multiple computers onto the same cloud account, it is even more essential to keep these updated. Syncing an outdated app can offer a way into your company storage. This is especially common for social media apps, such as Facebook and Twitter, which you may have unknowingly given access to your cloud storage. Be sure only the devices and apps you need to store in the cloud are connected to the service.

Diversify

Even with all these security tools in place, a risk remains that someone could break through using your employees’ information. Social engineering, or the manipulation of those with access to sensitive information, remains a risk for any company, whether by using phishing scams on employees, or convincing tech support people at a cloud service to reset a password. To protect your company’s data from social engineering, in addition to the other steps listed above, also consider diversifying the cloud services you use, and be sure to use services with encryption features.

By taking these steps, you can feel that much more confident that your company’s information is safe in the cloud.

 

Topics: SMALL BUSINESS

 

 

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