Storing, organizing, and managing your business’s data is no easy task, yet companies of all sizes and in all industries require this service. Because maintaining your own storage repository would require an immense amount of work and lots of money, most businesses opt to store their data in the cloud. For instance, an increasing number of businesses are choosing Amazon Simple Storage Service (also known as Amazon S3) for safe and secure storage that is easily accessible.
For the most part, any quality cloud storage service from big names like Amazon, Microsoft, or Google is going to be fairly safe. At the same time, there are always precautions that should be taken by businesses to further secure their information because once it’s lost, it may be gone forever. Data breaches by cyber hackers are becoming increasingly common, and it’s often up to you to prevent them — or at least be able to identify them and act quickly.
Whether you’ve only recently started thinking about moving your data storage to the cloud or you’ve been storing your data there for years, use the following tips to provide yourself with even more security and peace of mind.
1. Have your files encrypted
Most cloud service providers will offer encryption services as part of their storage package deals. In this way, companies like Amazon and Microsoft can actually keep your files encrypted both during storage and while your files are in transit.
Still, you’ve got to look out for your own data. For this reason, you might consider going with an encryption service from a third party. This allows you to encrypt your own data separately from the encryption method used by your cloud vendor. That way, if your cloud vendor ever endures a security breach, your files will still be encrypted through the third-party service you used.
2. Back up your files frequently
Again, most cloud storage systems will do this for you, but if you want an extra layer of protection, you can also back up your files on your own or change the settings on your storage system so that they back up more frequently.
3. Learn the best practices for your particular mode of storage
The three big cloud storage companies — Amazon, Microsoft, and Google — have their own best practices for maintaining the safe storage of your data.
If you store your data in Amazon S3 buckets, for example, Amazon has specific recommendations you can follow. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Storage have their own specified security instructions as well. Learn and follow these protocols, and you’ll be adding extra layers of protection to your data storage setup.
4. Keep your staff in the know
Whenever you change your security protocol concerning data storage, be sure to inform your staff with comprehensive training. Keep them abreast of changes in password procedures, file encryption methods, and most of all, hacking tactics.
This last one is important. Hackers like to target lower-level employees at companies when they are seeking access to your data. This is because lower-level employees tend not to know as much about malware attacks, phishing schemes, and other hacking tactics.
If a hacker sends a phishing email to one of your employees, it’s possible they may open it and grant system access to that hacker. Why wouldn’t they? If they’re not trained in these measures, they can’t know what to look out for and be wary of.
5. Understand the importance of a good password
Many people use passwords on a daily basis, but in reality, not many understand their real importance. This is why people tend to use the same passwords over and over, or they use passwords like their street numbers and address or their dog’s name followed by 123.
It should go without saying that these are not good passwords, and they should be avoided.
The truth is, whenever you need to make a password for an account, it should be unique; it should include numbers, letters, and symbols; and it should not make sense. For this last one, what we mean is that your dog’s name and the street you live on are not good passwords. Make it bizarre and unintelligible.
Furthermore, remember to change your passwords frequently. All of these guidelines should go for all of the passwords that you and your employees use.
The general consensus among IT experts is that cloud computing is safe and secure. It’s the best practice for storing your data because it’s inexpensive, scalable, convenient, and overall secure. Still, as with most things in life, it’s important that you also be proactive — especially when it comes to the safety of your company’s data.
Don’t just rely on Amazon, Microsoft, or Google to take care of everything. The tips above will help keep your information even more secure.