In recent years, the number of companies that have switched to cloud storage has gone up drastically. This is great for the advancement of technology. But those looking to gain illegal access to this data also look at it as an opportunity. Fortunately, cloud providers have managed to stay ahead of the curve through constant advancements and emerging technologies, such as machine learning.
However, there’s always more that users can do to increase the level of protection they receive. This guide will cover the keys to maximizing the advantages of cloud security that cloud service customers can utilize to better their online defense.
Be Aware of Industry Requirements
One thing that most companies are already aware of by this point is the fact that not all industries necessarily need to utilize cloud computing for their data needs. Some businesses can get away with using private servers, but others may not be able to store specific vital data online due to regulations. You need to be aware of this before pursuing a cloud-based service, especially if you do business overseas. For instance, the EU has set up a program called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which protects customer data from certain online data storage practices.
Of course, this is just one example. Your industry might have its own specific regulations that will prevent you from putting all your company data on a cloud server. However, it’s rare that you can’t store any of your data online, especially when implementing certain security elements.
That’s why the first key to maximizing the advantages of cloud security is to know your industry-based limits. Once you’ve established them, it’s much easier to figure out what else you need to do to boost your overall protection.
Only Give Access to Those Who Need It
One of the best parts about the cloud is the fact that anyone can use it from anywhere. Giving managers and employees constant access can be a blessing. But just because you can provide access to everyone doesn’t mean you should. Unfortunately, you can’t fully trust your entire workforce, especially if it’s on the larger side. There’s always a slight chance someone might take advantage of that limitless access to do something they shouldn’t.
Of course, the person from which an internal attack comes might not always be the actual perpetrator. For example, your employee might be a victim of a phishing or personal hacking attack. The infiltrator can then access your data through them without them even knowing about it.
You can further strengthen security by restricting access to the information of people who have been with the company for a while or hold high positions. The risk is obviously still there, but fewer entry points lower the chances of an internal breach.
Get a Better Understanding of Potential Attacks
To reduce those internal attacks even further, you need to ensure that you’ve trained your staff members who have access to cloud information. They should be up to date on new phishing techniques and know how to spot a threat before it takes over their computer and compromises their system.
If you have a knowledgeable IT team, you can work with them to set up your own training sessions. If not, you can pay an outside service for their training programs. Either way, you should require your teams to take these courses quarterly, yearly, or whenever significant changes have occurred in the industry. The goal is to keep everyone as informed as possible to avoid potential invasions.
Don’t Get Lazy With Passwords
Even if your staff knows all the tips and tricks for avoiding fishy links and emails, they could still just be victims of a simple password hack. Intruders are quite good at cracking simple passwords that don’t change, so you need to implement a password procedure for your employees to follow to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
Make them utilize capital letters, numbers, and symbols to make their passwords hard to guess. You should also require them to use a different one for every account they have within your business. As a final security measure, you should have them change their password every few months. Obviously, all this won’t be very pleasant for your employees, so it’s also best to invest in a password manager for them to use. This will help keep your data more secure without putting too much pressure on your staff.
Use Auditing Services When Possible
Many companies tend to forget about auditing services, which allow employers to keep track of everyone accessing the cloud at any given time. These systems also retain records of this info so that you can go back and review it in the case of a breach that you didn’t find out about right away.
Of course, due to the threats previously mentioned, even if you see a specific user as the source of the intrusion, that doesn’t mean it was necessarily them. Fortunately, auditing services can also inform you of the location and device associated with the point of access.
Scale Only When Necessary
Another problem leading to more security threats is upscaling your cloud services too high. Sure, more cloud access can have its uses, but it can also mean you must also protect more than your company can potentially handle. You need to keep your cloud usage at acceptable levels for your IT team to control. Once you have a solid grasp of what you already have, then you can look into expanding your cloud usage. Just make sure you don’t scale up too far.
Make Use of All Other Security Services Offered
Of course, your online security isn’t entirely on your shoulders. Your cloud provider will have tons of options for you to protect your data through their service, but you need to take the time to explore and implement each of them.
For example, we offer a whole host of Azure data protection services for our customers to take advantage of. You have to figure out which ones are the best fit for you and make good use of them. Once you do that and everything else on this list, you can rest assured knowing that your data is as safe as possible.