Data Security in the Cloud
What is the cloud?
More SMBs are now choosing to store their data in the cloud, but what exactly is it? The cloud is a collection of computers on the internet that companies are using to offer their services. Your data is stored on these computers rather than on a local hard drive. This will allow you to access and synchronise your data across any device; all you need is internet access. In addition to storing your data, cloud providers will also backup your files thus alleviating the need to acquire additional, often costly, storage space. For a more technical discussion of cloud computing basics, read more here.
Is my data Safe?
If you choose to store your files in the cloud, it is important to remember that your data is being stored on servers controlled by the service provider. Some providers of cloud services may even use the cloud services of another organisation. It is important to check the security and availability of the service and ensure it is right for the type of files you want to upload. Here are some tips on how to keep your data safe:
All cloud services rely on a master password, or passphrase, to access your files, so make sure it’s long and obscure enough not to be guessed. Don't risk having your data stolen.
As with data on your hard drive, always ensure data saved to the cloud is backed up. There are some companies that offer a small amount of storage free of cost. Take advantage of this and make sure you have your most important data backed up in case of an unexpected loss.
- Avoid storing sensitive information in the cloud.
Many sources online will advise you not to save sensitive information in the cloud. Given the choice, you should always opt for keeping sensitive information away from the cloud, but in certain situations it may be unavoidable. In these scenarios, look at using encryption tools to encrypt this data before uploading it. As long as you keep the encryption key safe, no one else would be able to access this data if it were to be compromised. Be aware that whilst this is a good approach for storage or archiving, it may not be possible to share these files with anyone without also sharing the encryption key which can be difficult to manage.
If you choose to store your data on a local disk rather than the cloud it is imperative to have a strategy for encryption, backup and data disposal. ITADwise can of course help you with all aspects of data disposal, and we will be bringing you a How To for encrypting your digital data.