Cloud Security: 7 Ways to Keep Your Data Safe

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The hacking scandals that plague even the most secure sites in the cloud are constantly making the news. If you are thinking of moving your databases to the cloud or are already on the cloud, then you should be concerned about cloud security. While most cloud providers have better security that individual companies, even the most secure sites are only as effective as their weakest link. All too often, that weakest link is the user. Here are some great ways to improve the cloud security over the coming year.

Don’t use the same passwords for different cloud applications

Do you have the same user name and password for more than one cloud application? Using the same password can jeopardize your data security in the cloud. Of course it can be difficult to remember a different password for each cloud application, but there are many Web programs and apps which can help you to create and remember all the passwords you use on the cloud.

Despite the extensive press coverage that bad passwords have received, ‘12345678’, ‘password’ and ‘iloveyou’ remain the most popular. This makes it even more likely that your online databases are at risk. If you and your employees find it difficult to remember complex passwords, then use an app that creates random passwords and stores them for you.

Create complex passwords for cloud applications

The best passwords are a combination of letters, numbers and symbols which can be difficult to remember. You should not only avoid recognizable words, but also patterns on the keyboard (that’s right, your ‘qwerty’ password isn’t as secure as you thought!) Password apps can help to simplify your logins and create better cloud security. You can even create your own custom apps with ease if you want to ensure complete security and reliability.

Keep your cloud passwords secure

Don’t’ share your passwords, don’t write them down and don’t use the same passwords for more than one cloud application. If you need to share your password or use a public computer, make sure that you change your password as soon as you are done.

Have a policy for cloud security

Before you move your databases to the cloud, make sure that you have a cloud security policy in place. This policy must not only control passwords and password generation, it must also control all the devices that will be used to access the cloud, cloud accessing protocols and plans for when devices are lost or stolen.

Register all devices

One of the greatest advantages of cloud computing is that it enables users to access your database from any device anywhere. While this improves your functionality, it also means that its more difficult to keep your online data safe. Ensure that your employees register every single device that they will use to access your online databases with your IT department. These devices need to be constantly updated. Should one of the devices be lost, stolen or replaced, your cloud security protocol must be in place with procedures to ensure that your data remains secure.

Regular backups

Most cloud providers will automate your backup procedures which will help you to restore data in the event of an emergency. Ensure that your data is stored in two separate locations both of which are accessible to you. Ensure that your employees also backup their important data to avoid downtime.

Communication

One of the biggest problems with security is a lack of communication. Ensure that each and every employee understands the cloud security protocols and check that they are being followed. Ensure that any changes to the security protocols are communicated to employees. Training may be necessary to ensure that all employees are using the cloud safely. Security protocols mean nothing if they are not correctly implemented and followed.

Your online database is safe in the cloud if you ensure that your cloud provider has adequate security measures and that all the users practice good cloud security techniques. The security of your data relies on the actions of each and every one of your employees, so make sure that they understand and follow protocols at all times.