10 Ways of Ensuring Data Security in Cloud Computing

Ensuring data security in cloud computing is crucial to maximizing the benefits of migrating to the cloud. These 10 tactics are how you do this.

How to Maximize the Benefits of the Cloud for Your Business

If you’re considering migrating your company’s data to the cloud, we expect you’ll be concerned about data storage security in cloud computing. The data your company holds is crucial. If it’s lost or stolen, the impact of that data loss on your business could be devastating.

How do you tap into the benefits of storing data in the cloud while ensuring your data is secure?

Here are 10 essential tactics for ensuring integrity and security in cloud computing.

Tactic #1: Understand how cloud service storage works

To maximize the advantages of cloud storage, you must first understand it. There are several different cloud services, offering a range of data security measures.

First, you must know what type of cloud service you are using:

  • Public cloud, in which the servers and other hardware and software are owned by a third-party provider, who provides maintenance and security.

  • Private cloud, which is owned by a single organization (which could be your business or hosted by a third party). Security resources are not shared with others.

  • Hybrid cloud, which combines features of both public and private cloud infrastructure.

Review the service agreement to get a handle on the technologies used, the applications available, and the controls to protect your data.

Tactic #2: Discover and categorize your data

Data is the lifeblood of any business. It’s the fuel that feeds insights and knowledge to make better decisions. Therefore, when it comes to data, you want to know what can hurt you. The more damaging that loss of specific data can be, the more rigorous your protection should be.

You’ll want to have greater control and protection of your most sensitive data. Unless you know which data this is, you won’t be able to take appropriate precautions.

Tactic #3: Encrypt data at rest and in transit

Encryption of data turns information into unusable nonsense unless the person using that data has the key to decode it.

You should encrypt your sensitive data when uploading it to the cloud (when it is in transit) and ensure it is encrypted when it is stored on the cloud service provider’s servers.

Tactic #4: Know where your data is being processed and stored

It is impossible to guarantee 100% security of data. Therefore, you should regularly assess how and where your data is being processed and stored by the service provider — and then evaluate the security of this independently.

Tactic #5: Implement adequate controls to protect data from unauthorized access

As well as data encryption, you should implement other access controls to prevent unauthorized access. These include:

  • Firewalls

  • Access controls based on user privileges

  • Multi-factor authentication of users

  • Real-time monitoring and intrusion responses

  • Using Security Incident Event Manager (SEIM) software to collect and analyze data from cloud infrastructure, networks, security devices, and applications.

Tactic #6: Use anti-virus software for the systems used to log into the cloud

Installing antivirus software will help to prevent your systems and data from being exposed to malware, ransomware, and other hacking tactics with which you might then infect your cloud data.

Tactic #7: Use local back-up 

One of the great benefits of storing data in the cloud is that it is secure, and a cloud service provider will back up your data on other servers. So why do we suggest a local backup? Because you never know what may happen. If the worst should happen and your cloud-based data is lost, you’ll always have a local backup to fall back to. It’s a question of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, and good business sense.

Tactic #8: Ensure that employees use reliable passwords

Poor passwords are asking for trouble. They’re easy to crack, and a gateway to your system and sensitive data.

Strong, reliable passwords, changed regularly, and different for each cloud application, will help to protect your data. And make sure that your employees don’t share their passwords with anyone. A request for a password is suspicious activity that should be reported and verified.

Tactic #9: Review your privacy policy

When working with a cloud service provider, it’s crucial to review and understand the privacy policy and ensure that it aligns with your own privacy policy and the requirements of regulators. Focus on what information may be shared and what data security and integrity measures are in place — the more specifically stated these are, the better.

Tactic #10: Proactively manage your contract with the cloud provider

Finally, be proactive in managing your contract with the provider. Regularly review your needs and goals, and make sure that these are still being met by the services and security provided. Where shortfalls exist, speak to the provider to have the contract, services, and management of the cloud provider updated.

Develop your strategy for data security in the cloud

There are many benefits of migrating data to the cloud. Services are highly flexible, cost-effective, and scalable for business growth. It helps to improve collaboration within your company and when working with third parties, and you benefit from automatic software updates and integration.

However, to maximize these benefits, you should adopt an approach and develop a strategy for ensuring data security in cloud computing. The tactics that we have shared here should form the foundation of this approach.

Not sure where to start?

To benefit from our expertise and experience in helping clients select and implement effective data security solutions, contact Millennium Tech today.

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