Let's face it: the "cloud" is a very hot topic for CIOs, CISOs and CEOs alike. In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the cloud and the benefits of leveraging converged technology for your infrastructure. Between decreased costs and the opportunity for scalable growth, it’s definitely a solution that is smart and appealing to organizations of all sizes. Before jumping into this method of computing, however, companies need to identify suitable ways to keep their sensitive data secure. The cloud can be a safe place for data, but only when proper measures have been put into place to keep it safe. It’s no secret that companies struggle with safety issues when it comes to cloud computing- here are three things to consider including in your cloud security program that will help keep your data breach free.
Use Appropriate Passwords
Make sure the passwords used by your company are strong and random. This may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people still struggle with selecting appropriate passwords. Be sure all passwords are obscure or random enough that unauthorized individuals cannot guess them at all. Ideally, a strong password is a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and symbols. Avoid predictable dates and phrases as they can easily be cracked. Once you are certain the passwords being used by company employees are sufficient, be sure to schedule regular intervals where password resets take place. This will also increase the security of the data being accessed and protect it from unauthorized users.
Encrypt Your Data
Data encryption is the easiest and most practical way to transfer and store sensitive data. Essentially, an encryption software will scramble readable text or information and make it unreadable unless the reader or recipient has the password to decrypt it.
Like any other security process, encrypting your data requires some effort on your part. As a user, you will have to remember password that are hard to crack. Password managers such as 1Password, LastPass and KeePass can store obscure or random passwords securely on any device. This is just for keeping passwords, the actual process of encryption takes place when you encrypt your drive, files, email messages and attachments. Mac devices has a superior encryption tool called FileVault. Users of Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise edition PCs can use BitLocker Drive Encryption. There are many more tools available, but this is an important way to keep your data secure.
Have a Threat Detection and Management Plan and Solution
Maybe the most important of these three ideas, a threat detection and management plan is key to keeping data safe, regardless if it’s cloud-based or in your physical facility. This is especially important when your data is in the cloud. When your infrastructure is hosted in the cloud, there are more access points to your company’s information. That’s why having an accurate way to know about and handle any attacks is even more critical than ever. Without the ability to detect and manage threats, your hope of avoiding a data breach and keeping your information secure in the cloud is incredibly slim.
Simply having a threat detection and management policy in place isn’t enough to keep your cloud-based data secure. Look for a solution that will work with you, help allow you to work smarter, and that aligns with your security goals. You want one that can automate the implementation, analysis, and remediation of threats- and one that can do it while reducing your overhead cost.
There are countless things you can do to help keep your data safe in a cloud environment. And while they are all important, putting a threat management and monitoring solution in place should be a priority for your organization. Ultimately it will take a combination of PEOPLE, PROCESS and TECHNOLOGY to be effective in securing your cloud. For more information about threat management and monitoring, click here.