by vanessajames on 25/08/12 at 10:03 am
Technology has come a long way. What used to be stored in warehouse-sized rooms now fits on a pocket-able thumb drive.
With the advent of the Cloud, storage becomes even simpler. Access to documents from any device becomes possible. Information never flowed so freely. This can be a valuable asset to businesses, but it also comes with its own risk. Enhanced accessibility means decreased security. Here are some important steps for you to secure your files in the Cloud.
There are some basic internet security tips that you should be using anyway, but we will do a quick rehash of those just to cover our bases.
First of all, always make sure you have a strong password. Using an unpredictable mix of lower and uppercase letters and numbers is best. Avoid common dictionary words or information like your birthday. Do not make your password predictable. Following these tips will help you avoid both random hackers and people looking deliberately for your information.
Only store information in the cloud that need to be accessed by several locations. All other information can be stored in a computer hard drive.
Use the https url instead of http. The “s” stands for secure, so it’s obviously a step in the right direction.
Know Your Vendor
There are lots of data-storage providers. The task of researching all of these companies will seem daunting, and it is.
You have to learn the techniques used by different providers. You want to know the history, credibility, and ability to adapt of the company you are going to trust with your data.
Review the company’s security policies and procedures.
Questions you want to pose include: What encryption and authorization methods does the company use? What happens to your data if you stop using the company’s services? Who is responsible in case data is lost? What backup procedures are implemented?
Reading the fine print is never fun, but in this case it will help you choose just the right provider.
Encrypt Your Data
There are several different stages at which you should encrypt your data: when you create it, upload it to the server and make changes to the information.
Look to see what you are responsible for, and what the company you chose does automatically.
There are several encryption programs you can use to enhance data security. You will have to do research on that as well.
Many security breaches come from inside the company.
Ensure that your privacy and security policies are updated and made clear to employees. Make the consequences for security breaches severe.
Change passwords and access codes frequently, especially when employees leave.
Limit access to sensitive data to need-to-know basis only. If employees use equipment provided by the employer, they can be restricted in what they can do. You can limit photo taking, file sharing, and forbid social media interaction from work devices. This ensures that they are more likely to be forced to stay on task and won’t be talking to outside people about what they are working on.
It’s not just your employees you need to worry about, it’s those of your data storage provider as well. Check out their employee disclosure policy. How much access will a third party have to your information? These are all things to consider.
Depending on your needs, your storage options may be different. This means that your security may vary. Be sure to be aware of how secure your documents are and have action plans ready to deal with security breaches. Back up information in as many places as possible so as to decrease the risk of data loss, but make sure that all of those backups are secure. Internet security is a fine line; walk it carefully.
About The Author: Vanessa James is a business technology consultant specializing in database management. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge with individuals and companies alike. She currently writes for oracle provider confio.com