What is cloud security?
More and more data is stored and accessed via cloud storage. The cloud is an excellent solution for a business with multiple users and departments needing to access and share files. The cloud data must be accessible only by the correct people.
Cloud security is a series of protective measures safeguarding cloud-based infrastructures, applications, and data. This is done through user and device authentication, access controls, and regulatory data compliance.
There are three types of cloud storage. Public clouds are third-party sites that anyone can utilize. Because they're public, identity management and authentication are crucial security measures. Private clouds are more secure, as they're isolated from the public eye. Social engineering and breaches are the biggest threats to a private cloud. Finally, the hybrid cloud offers a way to run applications in different environments. All three types have weaknesses, and good cloud security should have measures to counter them.
Cloud security is composed of several categories. Data security, identity and access management, governance, legal compliance, data retention, and business continuity planning. An excellent cloud security service will protect all areas of potential attack through technology, protocols, and best practices. This includes the physical networks, data storage and servers, computer virtualization frameworks, operating systems, middleware, applications, and end-user hardware.
Why is it important to secure the cloud?
Cloud security is important because it protects your data, applications, and business from the outside world. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, hackers, malware, and unauthorized users are some of the threats that cloud security tackles. Your business's data is vital, and a great cloud system can save a company time and money in terms of organization, communication, and storage. Not only does a good CSP (cloud security provider) monitor and respond to attacks, but it will also help you scale your service up and down as needed. Good security is flexible based on a business's needs.
It's a challenge to have data accessible to specific people worldwide and keep it from being accessible by everyone else. A solid cloud security system protects your data from outside attacks and ensures users follow proper security measures. Most business leaks result from someone making a mistake or getting scammed. Cloud security does its best to prevent that and to help a business ensure authorized users only see its data.
There are regulations in place designed to help protect cloud users as well. Legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) do their own duties to protect people's privacy and limit how to store and access data. Cloud providers have legal limitations set by The Cloud Act, which may grant law enforcement access to data with proper warrants and the correct legal procedures in place.
How to secure the cloud:
Whether you use a cloud service for yourself or you have a business with hundreds of users, you'll want to ensure your data is as secure as possible. Knowing what a great cloud storage provider should have and how to utilize it for security will be paramount in keeping your data safe.
Use a cloud service that encrypts
A good cloud service will encrypt all your data. Encryption is when a computer takes data and converts it to an indecipherable "ciphertext", which appears as gibberish. Any excellent cloud service will encrypt your data, so the information is unreadable without the encryption key if a data breach happens.
Authorized users automatically have the encryption key. Encryption keys follow logical processes to encrypt data but are very complex. Short of getting extremely lucky and guessing the key (which is next to impossible), stealing encrypted data isn't worth anything, and your information is still secure.
Set up your privacy settings
Many cloud services work in tandem with various outside apps. You'll want to go into your privacy settings and ensure that your data isn't shared with any external apps. You'll want to know how long the cloud service stores your data and what information it pulls from devices and apps that connect to it. Check these settings once a month to make sure you're protected.
Use strong passwords
Most attacks on data come from users who have weak passwords. A good password is over eight characters long, but a great password uses at least 15 characters. It shouldn't contain any identifying information, such as birthdays, names, company names, pets, or people you're close to. This password should be unique to that data and not used anywhere else. Most businesses make people create long passwords with capital letters, small letters, numbers, and symbols because those passwords are hard to phish and guess. To generate a good password, you may use our strong password generator online tool.
Always use phishing, never tell random strangers on the internet your mother's maiden name, your current and past pets, or the street where you grew up unless you're sure the people are from reputable businesses. The same applies to credit card information, phone numbers, and personal addresses.
Visibility and threat detection
In tandem with a good cloud security program, you'll also want to use a strong anti-virus program to protect against malware and other threats. Another good idea is to update your device often, as most updates are for security purposes. Public Wi-Fi is rarely a safe connection, so you'll want to use it sparingly. If you need a public connection, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to add a layer of protection to your data. Antivirus programs usually provide VPNs.
Cloud security can help protect your business information and personal information from hackers, phishers, and malware designed to steal data. A cloud security program, combined with an anti-virus program and tips to keep your passwords safe, go a long way to make the data stored in cloud services more secure.
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