Securing Cloud Data: What Are the Best Strategies and Security Solutions

The majority of the modern business world operates on the cloud. Also, people keep their private information, personal photos, and correspondences on this cloud-based software. They do this hoping they’re safe, but is this always the case?

While many measures are keeping data safe, sometimes you have to do more than trust/hope. Sometimes, you need to be proactive. With that in mind and without further ado, here are some of the best strategies and security solutions.

1. Encryption

The first thing you have to rely on is the encryption of data. Every message is coded, and the party with the “key” may read the data. Now, data encryption matters at three different stages, which are:

  • Data encryption at rest: This refers to protecting data that is in storage. It involves measures that will protect the data even if the person who makes an unlawful entry gets access to the files. They won’t be able to read the file without a proper decryption key.
  • Data encryption in transit: Data is the most vulnerable. This is why the encryption helps create two corresponding encryption keys. While in transit, data is in an unreadable format created using sophisticated cryptographic techniques. It returns to its original form once it reaches the person with the other key.
  • Client-side encryption: This method, also known as E2EE (end-to-end encryption) is an approach where the data is encrypted on the client’s side.

At the end of the day, there’s no data security in the cloud without encryption; fortunately, this cryptography is getting more sophisticated.

2. Identity confirmation and access management

Cloud is available to anyone at any point on earth, as long as they have a device that they can use to connect to the internet. The problem is that, for this to work, one must be able to prove their identity. How do you do this? Are a username/email and password enough?

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): Figuring out a password is sometimes easier than you think; however, with the help of multi-factor authentication, staying safe is much easier. If you also receive a code via email or SMS, staying safe is much easier.
  • Biometric authentication: While methods like a retina or facial scan are still not as reliable, this might change. At the same time, most smartphone manufacturers are already (successfully) using fingerprint unlocking. Needless to say, these biometric authentication methods will be a lot harder to replicate.
  • Time-based one-time passwords: This is similar to the code we’ve mentioned, and it can be used for users who often switch devices or access work platforms from unsecured networks. Of course, none of this is smart, but with TOTP, you can be protected from tools like keyloggers and even phishing.  

Access based on one’s role in the company is another great way to approach this issue. After all, people have access to and interest in data based on their rank and position. This was the case even with analog data, which hasn’t changed yet.

3. Regular security audits

One of the best ways to handle this is to hire cloud security specialists so that they can introduce all the improvements. The most important stage of these checkups and improvements is the regular security audits, which see how well your platforms are. There are several tests you should conduct.

  • Penetration testing: Sometimes, the best way to see if the paint is dry is to touch it. Sure, it might be messy, but at one point, you’ll have to try and sit on it. Penetration testing is hiring a white-hat hacker to check if your cloud is secure enough. They try to breach it; if they fail, you’ve done a great job.
  • Security audits: You have the traditional audits, which cloud security specialists perform. These may vary in objective and scope, but their main goal is to figure out all the vulnerabilities and plug the gaps.

Overall, you should never take your security for granted, and you need to understand that, with every new update, the whole system changes, for better or worse.

4. Data backup and recovery

A data breach is not people’s only concern with using cloud storage (and cloud computing, in general). The idea of a data loss can be even more unnerving since this may be crucial data for the functioning of your business. There are several ways for you to combat this.

  • Regular backups: The biggest two questions regarding the data backup are what methods you are using and how important the data is. With the significance of data, the frequency of backups increases. Also, if your data change rate is higher, your backups should be. As simple as that.
  • Disaster recovery plan: No matter how careful you are, there’s always a risk of data loss. Well, with the right recovery plan, you can minimize the loss. This is like having a contingency plan.

Overall, this is something that you can’t implement retroactively. You need to know what to do before you find yourself in a scenario where you must do it.

5. Employee training

Ultimately, no platform is secure enough if your staff is reckless and they have no idea what they’re doing.

You need to start with cloud fundamentals and inform your staff members of all the risks they face. The first step in avoiding the trap lies in knowing that there is a trap to begin with. Then, it’s important to understand that theoretical knowledge can only get you so far. It’s essential that you introduce hands-on exercises and simulations.

Lastly, your job is never done. Cloud is always growing; new threats and security measures are emerging yearly. Make this into a systemic, continuous process.

Wrap up

Ultimately, it’s important that you understand that there are many strategies and security solutions that will keep you safe while using cloud-based software. However, you cannot afford to be reactive. Data loss and security breaches can be fatal for your business. Make sure you have the safety net installed long before the fall.