The cloud has changed the way we do business and how we store and send information. However, like all technology, it also runs the risk of security issues.
Businesses need to think about how they can ensure their security and yet allow for flexibility and these tips show how.
1. Use Passwords
A unique password should be used to access your cloud data. That will help to ensure that even if your security somehow is compromised, there will be an added protection layer for your data stored in the cloud. If you are utilizing more than one cloud service due to their suitability for various tasks, a unique password should be used with each one. It is always a good idea to limit your potential exposure. Last Pass has a great password generator and this can be a big help.
2. Never Share Passwords
A reputable cloud service allows users to create directories or folders for sharing the data placed inside of them. With any form of sharing, require the other users to log into the service, instead of giving them your password to use. With the way that a majority of cloud technology works, in most cases it’s possible to determine which account was the last one to access a certain file, so you will be able to track any potential problems down.
3. Back Up Your Data
It might sound strange, particularly if the cloud is being used as your main backup option. However, you need to consider what might happen if your cloud service provider was hacked. There is no such thing as perfect cloud storage security, and it may be necessary to switch to a new provider. You also should consider that although your data is being stored by your provider and it goes through an encryption system that they are unable to access, you may end up losing access to your data on a hacked cloud. Your provider could also potentially lose your data. Good business practice involves having a local backup on hand. Read this piece by Alternative Networks on co-location.
As mentioned above in No. 2, be sure that the data is stored by your provider in encrypted format. That will go a long way towards assuring that even if your provider’s security ends up getting compromised, your data will still be confidential. Also, transporting to and from the cloud, whenever you are uploading or downloading data, should be encrypted as well.
5. Know Your Provider
At the moment, there are numerous cloud storage companies that are available. Whenever you are shopping for something that is becoming a commodity very rapidly, it is very important for you to be familiar with who your provider really is. There are many websites that are rebranded services that resellers resell. This doesn’t make these service automatically bad, but it does mean that the individuals you might be interacting with don’t have any direct responsibility or control over the cloud service itself. That can be especially true whenever you are dealing with a vertical market like a law firm, which has its own specialty resellers working in the field. Get to know the providers here.
6. Monitor Your Provider
After everything is all in place and functioning properly, there is a tendency to start thinking of the service as an extension of your business. However, over the past couple of years there have been several high-profile failures which shows that there is always the possibility that your provider will stop providing the service or go out of business. Be sure to stay aware of these possibilities and make sure somebody is checking on the service on a regular basis to ensure that you don’t end up having to rush around to move your data over to a new service or provider. Here are some good cloud storage tips.
7. Know What Your Limitations Are
A number of providers offer fixed service levels. Your fee covers a fixed storage amount. Be sure you know what will take place if you happen to exceed your contracted storage limit. Will it result in you getting a large storage bill over what your contracted amount is? Will your provider alert you when you are close to your storage limits? It is important to understand these issues ahead of time to prevent suddenly expenses that were not accounted for and other problems.
8. Understand Your Client Software
If you chose a cloud provider based on the fact that it has clients that are available for your selected computing platforms, be sure that you are aware of how the platforms work. For instance, numerous providers offer clients for Android and iOS tablets and smartphones. A single log in is offered by most of the clients. So once you have connected using your mobile device, it will remember how to connect without needing to be prompted. If you are planning to do this, you need to ensure to password protect your mobile device. Otherwise you will have provided unrestricted access to your stored data.
Law firms can derive significant benefits for their data management by using cloud storage. It does take control and effort from your organization and yourself to ensure cloud storage security. However, these efforts are well worth it.