Cloud security tips
The forecast is pleasantly cloud-y for today’s businesses, as more and more choose offsite cloud storage solutions. And for good reason: The cloud is economical, user-friendly, and incredibly convenient — everything a growing organization could want!
Think of the “silver lining” analogy in reverse. Remote storage is definitely a big, wonderful, silver cloud, offering tools and savings like nothing before. But the lining — several areas of cloud security that leave you vulnerable to disaster — isn’t automatically silver.
Before you jump headlong into remote cloud storage and solutions, you have to address some potential areas of weakness. These questions are a great starting point to help you secure your organization and make the most of the cloud.
1. How will you enforce compliance?
Why this matters: Compliance regulations for some industries require a high level of data protection. Cloud services can meet compliance standards, but there are steps you need to take first.
What you can do: To satisfy regulations, find out exactly what your industry standards for data storage are. Then it’s time to classify your data based on the level of security it needs.
You may be able to store sensitive data on a private cloud. In this case, your organizational or industry service-level agreements or compliance checklists will guide you on proper use and meeting private cloud security standards.
If you store less confidential data in the public cloud, you’re responsible to vet your cloud service provider’s plan to protect it. More on that just below.
2. How will you enforce cyber security?
Why this matters: Data is the life of your organization. The loss of operational ability in a breach would be catastrophic, but the loss of your reputation would be irredeemable.
What you can do: Store data mindfully. There may be some data that is too sensitive to go into the public cloud in any circumstance. But an internal cloud may be an option for the most confidential of data.
When you classify data as low-risk enough to go in the public cloud, you need to be picky about the platform you trust. Take the time to:
- Find out how their encryption keys are managed.
- Make sure they provide an incident response plan.
Here are some more wise practices:
- Find out if they adhere to federal government guidelines for cloud security.
- On the home front, we recommend you make sure your team uses a password manager service to generate and store complex passwords.
- You should use multi-step authentication whenever it’s an option.
- You can also create sub-accounts that don’t have master access.
A good IT vendor (we recommend this one) can help you determine which steps you should follow, and can interface with your provider to make sure you’re secured.
3. How will you protect your company’s intellectual data?
Why this matters: Cloud-related IP lawsuits are on the rise. It’s very expensive and time consuming to retroactively protect your intellectual property.
The costs can come from moving your data from the cloud to an onsite server, or from fighting to prove ownership in court. Do yourself a favor and address this question before you move to the cloud.
What you can do:
No matter what you produce and store in the cloud, you need to think about protecting it. We could go on forever here, but this is a helpful article with steps to take regardless of the type of IP you want to protect.
Software developers have particularly murky waters to navigate. Know what kind of IP protection your prospective cloud vendor expects you to have. For many developers it comes down to choosing not to use the cloud, and staying on-site. Another option is to rent infrastructure from an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider that can’t access or claim your work.
Stay safe in the cloud
Cloud service providers continue to get smarter about protecting data. But they’re not there yet, and part of the burden of cloud security remains on the user. Varay stands with you as a trusted partner in navigating the cloud and helping you find the safest way to manage your organization’s data.
Contact us today to set up a free visit to determine your IT score and find out more about how Varay’s experience can save you money and keep you secure in the cloud.