How to secure your data in the cloud

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Lots of firms now store data in the cloud. According to figures provided by Symantec, by 2012, almost of half of business information was being stored outside of companies’ own data centres. Operating from the cloud is associated with a range of business benefits. For example, it provides added flexibility and scalability. It can also lead to major cost savings. However, there are certain pitfalls to avoid. For example, if you want to ensure that your organisation has a positive experience, you must think carefully about data security. By following these simple tips, you should be able to avoid any problems.

 

Choose the right provider

 

First and foremost, it’s vital that you choose a suitable cloud service provider. There are many of these firms to choose from and some are much more effective and reliable than others. Before you sign a contract with any particular provider, spend some time checking their credentials. This might seem tedious, but it could save you hassle and money in the long run. When you’re assessing firms, pay particular attention to the security protocols they have in place. If the companies don’t make this obvious on their websites, get in touch with them to ask for further information. Never simply assume that they will be meticulous in their approach. Also, check for any independent certifications. For example, London Cloud are certified by the Cloud Industry Forum’s Code of Practice.

 

Take care with your passwords

 

Most of us are guilty of being a little remiss with passwords in our personal lives. For example, you might use the same codes to access a range of entertainment and social media services online. However, when it comes to your business, there is no room for complacency. Robust passwords are a must in this context.

 

Bear in mind that many of the security breaches that have affected cloud data occurred because users were careless when creating and using passwords. Never be tempted to go for options like ‘password’ or ‘12345’ when you’re setting up new codes. They might be easy to remember, but they could get you into big trouble.

 

It helps to develop a rigorous password policy and to make sure that all of your personnel adhere to this each time they access data in the cloud.

 

Ensure mobile security

 

One of the big advantages of storing data in the cloud is the fact that it enables you and your workers to access information from virtually anywhere, at any time using a host of mobile devices. However, if you’re not careful, this activity can lead to security problems. To ensure your data remains safe, make sure you secure remote access by using a virtual private network (VPN).

 

VPNs enable your employees to access your firm’s intranet securely while they are outside the office. They also allow you to connect different offices on a secure basis.

 

Check that your provider encrypts data

 

It’s also vital to ensure that your cloud provider encrypts all the data that you store in the cloud. The service level agreement that you sign with your provider should give you all the relevant details concerning the encryption being used. If you’re not happy with this aspect of your agreement, it’s time to find a new cloud service operator.

 

Business IT will always be associated with a certain level of risk. However, by making sure you follow these basic principles when you’re storing information in the cloud, you can help ensure that your firm doesn’t fall victim to data breaches. The necessary technology, standards and regulations now exist to help ensure you can stay one step ahead of the criminals. By being thorough in your approach to this issue, you can save your firm from a plethora of problems and you can also enjoy greater peace of mind.

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