With all the data breaches and ransomware attacks recently it’s highlighted the need to have adequate security and processes in place to protect your data. With hackers getting smarter and scams getting harder to spot, the question begs to be asked, is the cloud safe?
Short answer yes, long answer maybe.
Like a lot of things, the safety of your data and business in the cloud comes down to choice. The choices you make when picking a cloud provider can heavily impact the security of your data. So what are these choices?
- Choose a reputable provider
Make sure you choose a provider who has been around for a while and has tried and true processes in place.
A few years ago storage provider Nirvanix announced they were going out of business and customers had to get their data out, fast. Some customers were able to get their data out and to safety, while others weren’t so lucky.
While a brand new Cloud Provider may have some amazing deals and offers, there is always a risk that they will collapse, and for some there isn’t even a warning.
- Pick your location
Location is a really important factor for Cloud storage. Remember that although it’s called the Cloud, there still needs to be some a physical location with servers storing your data. These are called Server Farms and more often than not, are located in countries that have low operational costs and lax laws around privacy and data sovereignty.
Different geographical locations can be more susceptible to natural disasters, an unstable political landscape or intrusive privacy laws. It pays to know where your data is living.
- Retain ownership
It is important to know that you retain ownership of your data. This can be an issue with overseas Server Farms, but it can also be an issue with Cloud Hosting in Australia. There can be some very sneaky terms in fine print in contracts, so make sure you go over it with a fine tooth comb.
Now you know what to look for in a cloud provider, what things can you do to keep your data safe?
- Create Strong Passwords
This might sound like an obvious one, but every year the same terrible passwords feature on the worst passwords list.
Here are the top 3 worst passwords from 2015:
Using a password manager like LastPass or 1Password will allow you to have multiple strong passwords that will help to keep your data secure.
- Be Disaster Proof
Make sure your Cloud Provider is fail safe. That means if something happens to the data centre (where your data is housed) that all is not lost. Good Cloud Providers will have 2 separate data centres that continuously backup your data.
- Get Smart
Sometimes mistakes just come down to human error. Be smart when online, don’t open suspicious links from anyone you don’t know, don’t visit dodgy websites and don’t believe the Prince of Nigeria.
If all else fails it’s important to have a plan to get your business back up and running. Implementing an effective Disaster Recovery Plan means you can get your business back on its feet as soon as possible with minimal disruption.