Without cloud computing, working remotely might not have been as effective and secure, because there would be a lot of back and forth emails between colleagues. They would be sharing large files and data via email which increases the chances of the data been accessed by those who are not meant to and probably the size of the file will be too large to be sent at once. All these would be a lot messy and actually lead to staffs been very unproductive. Thanks to cloud computing, the ability for workers to access files and data easily at any time from remote locations over the internet has led to an increase in productivity amongst other things.
While cloud computing comes with a lot of benefits, we can not be too sure how secure our data is, most especially the ones stored in a public cloud. And with the rise in the recent hacking incidents of big companies, one can not rely completely on the cloud services provider to secure our data. Once you decide to use cloud computing, you no longer have control, your data could be stored anywhere in the world which varies with the cloud service provider you use. Cloud computing means you’re outsourcing and trusting a cloud service provider to keep your data, files, apps and transactions safe. Because of this, companies and individuals should increase their responsibility for protecting the data at all costs in the cloud. That is why data privacy and security in cloud computing is extremely important.
Image Source: Crouch Tech
Common Cloud Computing Security Risks/Threats
- Intellectual property loss or theft
- Data breach and data leak
- Poor access management
- Malware infections
- Hijacked accounts
- Loss of control over end-user actions – Insider threats
- Compliance violation and regulatory actions
- Hacked interfaces and insecure APIs
TIPS TO SECURE YOUR DATA IN THE CLOUD
The number of businesses migrating to the cloud has increased yearly and so as the number of cyberattacks. A lot of people also use the cloud now for personal use and some of the free cloud services providers are Google Drive, Dropbox and One Drive. To avoid cloud security issues, here are some tips you can implement as a business or as an individual.
1. Multi-factor Authentication
Most cloud security services now offer multi-factor authentication, where you enter your password, and receive a mobile phone notification with a randomly-generated one time use string of numbers which is only active for a few minutes. If not automatically offered, you should check if your provider has the option and then activate it.
Image Source: Monash
2. Monitor Your Cloud Environment
The best way to stay on top of your account is to monitor your cloud activities for any unexpected or suspicious activity. Monitor staffs login control, and in addition, limit what information they have access to.
Data encryption is a security method where information is encoded and only the person with the encryption key can access or decrypt it. Encryption stops unauthorised access of data, but it does not mean its secure.
Image Source: Pixel Privacy
4. Frequent Data BackUps
Backing up your data frequently is one of the most effective ways to prevent data loss. It is important to schedule this to be carried out often – add to your calendar. Doing this would ensure that you have an emergency backup if there was a case of a failed cloud service.
5. Check and Test Your Security Measures
Testing security measures will make a significant difference. You can hire penetration testers to test your system’s security level. Penetration testing is a process of identifying security vulnerabilities in an application or computer system.
Image Source: Red Team Secure
6. Use of Anti-Virus
7. Use Very Strong Passwords
I know you might have heard this over and over again, but you will be surprised at the number of people that still use their pets name as their password or a combination of their pets name along with their date of birth. I took an Introduction to cybersecurity course where I learnt a few password tips. Your password should contain a mixture of caps and small letters, add more than 1 symbol, replace letters to similar-looking symbols. There are a lot of sites that offer tips on creating a strong password. Besides creating a unique and strong password, it is also of great importance to change them frequently and use different passwords for different platforms. Example: Your social media password should not be the same with your email.
Cloud computing is the future and with no doubt comes with a lot of benefits, but you should bear in mind that cloud vendors security assurance is not guaranteed. They know they have to do their cybersecurity part, but at the end of the day, the organisation is the one responsible for their customer’s data and not the cloud vendor likewise if they become a victim to a ransomware attack. So adopting cybersecurity measures from your end alongside staying informed, verifying your cloud vendor security policies and educate yourself.
If you like this post or have extra tips on ways to secure our data in the cloud. Or is this your first time learning about cloud security? Or are you already aware and have taken steps to secure your accounts. Do drop a comment below I will love to hear from you.