Cloud computing has been a household term since the Internet’s surge in popularity the 90s and 2000s. The cloud is the thing that lets us operate online — it holds the servers that are accessed via the Internet and also houses the software and databases needed to help those servers operate. Saving things to the cloud is different than saving them to your computer in that the cloud enables you to access your saved files from any device, anywhere so long as you have the necessary credentials to access it. With the high accessibility of data on the cloud, protecting the cloud is incredibly important. It can be overwhelming when thinking of how to approach the task of protecting the cloud, however there are a few specific areas that can be focused on to make this a more manageable feat.
- Identity & Access Management – Identity and access management (IAM) is the term which summarizes the policies, processes, and technologies that ensure that the right users have the appropriate access to technology resources. This is essential for operating in tandem with the cloud because it requires only the correct, approved individuals to have access to specific data.
- Password Security – The most essential building block of cybersecurity is password hygiene. It is a simple, free step we can take which makes it that much harder for cybercriminals to gain access to our data. Password hygiene consists of the use of strong, unique passwords for every account – no two accounts should have the same or even similar passwords. Unique is just as key here as a complex or strong when it comes to passwords, because if you use the same complex password for multiple logins and a company associated with that account encounters a breach, the malicious actors now have a password to the other applications using that same password as well.
- Encrypting Data – A great way to protect your data that is stored on the cloud is to encrypt it. Encrypted data is data that has been changed or scrambled so that the actual saved data is not visible. The encrypted information will only be readable once unencrypted with the specific key necessary. This adds an incredibly helpful layer of protection when it comes to saving things in the cloud because even if a malicious individual finds your information, the encryption makes it so they cannot access it. Hackers can sometimes crack the encryption codes and gain access to your information, but it can often stop them, if not slow them down compared to if you were not taking this step.
- Firewalls Protect Your Data – The utilization of a cloud firewall can help to protect your information stored in the cloud as well as protect the networks you are connected to when accessing the cloud. These firewalls exist in the cloud, so they are able to protect on “home turf” so to speak. They work to protect against multiple forms of cyber attacks including DDoS attacks and vulnerabilities.
- Backup, backup, backup – As with any other area of cybersecurity, it is essential that you backup your data and save it in multiple, safe locations. Though we hope that our data would never be stolen, it is always a possibility. This helps to keep your business operating even in the event of many types of attack, such as ransomware, since you will have an additional copy of your data to work with. Be sure to backup your data often so that you can operate with the most up-to-date data available.