Security breaches and data loss are two main concerns of all companies that do business in the cloud. Many companies store sensitive data that simply cannot be lost. If important files, documents and contracts are lost, it can set a company back or even make them go under for good. The loss of time it may take to get contracts redrawn and signed can be disastrous. For lawyers, important files could change the outcome of cases. Real estate agents could lose sales if they lose important transaction documents. The technology attackers are using has become much more sophisticated over the years. Web threats are exposing businesses to data loss, and you can check out the top 10 data breaches of 2013 here. In this article, we will look at the top 5 tips for cloud security.
Ask for references
Don’t be afraid to ask for references from other clients. You can also request client references from the cloud provider, and request that they specifically mention the security measures. Some of the best clients to start out with would be government, healthcare, insurance or financial organizations. You should also check with competitors or organizations that are similar to yours. If they are using the same provider you are inquiring about, your company could be in good hands there as well. Just make sure that you contact the references directly so you can ask the right questions and find out exactly how they are securing their system and protecting their data.
Be sure that everyone takes security seriously and that all security protocols and policies are followed. One mistake can lead to disaster. Ensure that your data center takes security just as seriously as you do. Find out which server and data center you have data stored in and probe them to ensure that all possible security measures have been implemented. You can check if they have been SAS 70, SOC 2 or SSAE 16 audited. You should also find out if their clients have been HIPAA or PCI certified. Any competent data center or cloud provider will offer services such as intrusion detection, managed firewalls, antivirus and more.
Determine exact data locations
Knowing where your data is located is an integral part of securing it. Having a great security system with intrusion detection, breach protection and a firewall is a necessity, but it’s not enough. What if your cloud provider goes out of business or if you decide to switch your data to another provider? You need to know exactly where your data is by having dedicated hardware.
Test and scan
Penetration tests are the best way to discover any underlying problems or flaws in your network security. A security professional will use the latest tools and his expert knowledge in an attempt to penetrate the system security. Vulnerability scans are excellent for finding known exploits, but to find the real flaws, you will have to delve deep into the system and have a professional, or team of professionals, analyze every possible weakness in the system. If any flaws are discovered, this means your system is exploitable and open to a security breach and potential data loss.
Have a solid backup plan in place
All the security measures in the world cannot guarantee 100% that your system is foolproof and unable to be hacked. Human error still exists, even when the technology is sound, and social engineering is a hacker’s best trait. So no matter how strong your security system is, it is essential that you have a solid backup plan in place in case data loss was to occur. By the time you realize that a hacker found a flaw in your top-of-the-line security system, it could be too late.
If a hacker is able to access your financial records, confidential client information, sensitive company information, legal documents, contracts or any other data that is too important to be lost, it could be disastrous for a company that has no backup plan in place.
But cloudHQ is the ultimate backup solution. Hopefully your security system will never fail. But in 2012, 8 out of every 10 businesses experienced some type of web attack. As hackers gain more sophisticated technology, we can only expect these attacks to increase.
CloudHQ works by syncing data from one cloud account to another. The backup cloud account is usually through a completely separate cloud service, with completely different authentication credentials from any other company account. CloudHQ monitors the main cloud account, and as new files are added, cloudHQ automatically replicates and adds a backup to the secondary account. If existing files are revised, the revisions are instantly backed up to the backup account. Previous versions can be restored using cloudHQ, in case any unauthorized changes or accidental revisions are made.
If remote workers lose their smartphone or tablet, or if they are stolen, cloudHQ is the perfect BYOD backup solution. Remote workers generally do their work in the cloud, so all their work is saved in the cloud. But if their mobile devices or laptops are lost or stolen, a skilled hacker could easily use that device to gain access to the cloud account. Data can be deleted or altered. But if cloudHQ is providing the backup, all deleted or altered data can be restored within seconds.
The cloudHQ service runs in the background, completely invisible to any users, so there are no interruptions as work is being performed. All replication is automatic and in real-time, unless you prefer manual backups. This can be changed in the settings, although not recommended, as all new files and revisions since the previous backup can be lost if an incident was to occur.
A strong security system is a necessity, but a backup plan is just as essential. You don’t want to find out that your security system wasn’t completely foolproof by having a data loss incident happen when you’re not prepared for it. Add the perfect data loss prevention solution today. Sign up for the 15-day free trial and find out if cloudHQ is the solution to your company’s security needs.