Cloud computing is evolving at a rapid speed. Businesses of all sizes and shapes are adopting this technology to scale up their operations. While utilizing cloud is a must for modern businesses, it is also necessary to think about the security aspect.
Regardless of which cloud service you use, there is always something you can do to increase the security of your confidential cloud files. Let’s see which steps you can take to safeguard your documents on the cloud.
Tighten the Existing Security Measures
The first step is to start with the basics. And by basic, I mean the passwords you use for the cloud services. Are you using the same password for all services? Or maybe you are using a simple pattern to create the password for each service.
If you are doing any of these, you are putting yourself into serious danger. Stop using these passwords and start using a dedicated password manager like LastPass. With these password managers, you will have to remember only one password, while they will store all the passwords for you.
The next thing is to enable more security features like two-factor authentication system. If your service provides this feature, it could be an excellent addition to a strong, unique password.
Also find out how the service handles password reset requests. Make sure you will receive an email confirmation each time someone tries to reset your password.
Then, check out the security questions (if any) and make sure they are relevant and aren’t made public by you. Whenever possible, choose the most uncommon questions and provide creative answers. It is always best if you can choose something which is known only to you.
Audit the Connected Devices and Apps
Your next step is to find out which devices, apps and services are connected to your cloud storage accounts.
As these things can get access to your cloud accounts without your permission, it is very important to know which they are.
If you find any app, service or device you no longer use, remove them immediately. In the tech world, it is not uncommon for various apps and service to get hacked and leak the data online.
It is always a good habit to revoke access to the old apps and devices. This is especially important for your old devices. As most cloud services offer real-time syncing, any device connected to your cloud account will still receive the updates, unless you disconnect them from your account. Some cloud services also allow you to delete the synced data from the disconnected devices.
First of all, you need to find out what type of access the service gets to your data. Also review what type of security they offer for your valuable documents. Some companies automatically encrypt the data, without even knowing what’s been uploaded into your account.
Some others keep the right to access your data “as necessary”. When it comes to encrypting your data, they use vague-terms like enterprise-level security and so on. You should be very careful about using the services which match these descriptions.
Taking the time to go through the whole privacy, security and/or end user policy is very important for you. Check the whole document and if anything looks suspicious, don’t hesitate to ask them directly. If they can’t provide a satisfactory answer, do some Google searches to find out the actual truth.
If you are worried that the policies can change, tools like Paranoid Paul can keep track of these and notify you about any changes. In general, if you notice that a provider is granting them open access to your data and doesn’t have enough security measures, it can be assumed they are not well-prepared for safeguarding your data in case of sudden attacks or other types of malfunctions.
Encrypt the Sensitive Data
Next, let’s talk about what type of data you store and how to save them. Most people tend to save anything and everything on the cloud. As most cloud services offer a generous storage space for free, end users often don’t think about what they are uploading.
If you are not worried about losing important data or someone having access to your files, this approach is not a problem at all. Otherwise, you need to analyze what type of data and document you have stored in your cloud storage accounts. Try to find out what type of impact you will have if you lose this data and if you have other backups of these files.
And if the service can access your files, carefully analyze if your uploaded contents violate their user policy or ToS. It is not uncommon to see people losing access to their account due to saving “questionable content” or saving content in a private folder.
If you find any such content in your account, it is high time to remove those contents from your cloud accounts or encrypt the files before uploading them. Encrypting your contents add an additional layer of security to your data.
These days, there are so many cloud storage providers with different types of facilities for their free and premium accounts. As an ordinary user, this is actually an interesting option for you. You can easily sign up for various services and store your critical data and documents on different cloud services.
If you do this, you won’t lose all of your valuable data even if one of your cloud storage accounts gets compromised. While this could make it a bit more complicated to ensure instant access to the necessary files, it is definitely a wise approach to ensure maximum security for your documents. As we suggested in the first step, if you use a dedicated password manager, you don’t have to worry about remembering all the account details for various cloud services.
Cloud computing is gradually becoming an integral part of modern businesses. If you want to build a growth-oriented business, there is no alternative to using cloud services.
When using these services, follow the tips provided above to ensure the best security for your confidential documents. After all, keeping the confidential document safe is a top priority for your business.
Credits: The making of this content is credited to Marie K.Powell of Ademero.com.