Cloud services enable users to access their data from any location and any type of mobile device. Information that would have to have been stored on their hard drives, is instead stored on a server that can be easily retrieved when one is not at home and needs it. However, many people have their reservations about this form of computing due to the higher risk of a security leak. Fortunately there are measures one can take to increase the security of their data when using cloud technology.
There are two types of cloud servers; public and private. The former provide storage for many clients at the same time on the same hardware, and there is a much greater chance of it becoming lost or getting into the wrong hands. Private servers offer more control over the data and meet higher security standards, making them a more safe place to keep one’s information and therefore a better choice for most. Simply using either type wisely can make it more secure.
Using a strong password is one way to keep one’s cloud data secure. Hackers will try to guess and can even design programs to access passwords, so it’s essential to come up with one that is not easily figured out. Capitalizing a letter, adding in a random number, or substituting a letter in place of a number or vice versa are all tricks that can help create a safe password.
Backing up one’s data is also highly advisable when using a cloud service, just as an added precaution. This does not actually secure the data itself, but it is still a necessary action if something were to go wrong, one would not be left at a loss and without their important files.
It’s important to find out from the service provider, exactly where the data is stored physically. There is no guarantee that a company is going to be in business forever, and it’s also possible that customers will at some point want to switch to another provider, so it pays to inquire about the actual location of one’s information, as well as how it can be retrieved in the event that the service is terminated.
Once the customer is aware of the specific data center and server where his or her files are being stored, it’s time to take it a step further and ensure that the company checks out in terms of security measures. If they provide detection of intrusion, managed firewalls, and antivirus services, these are good indicators of a provider that values security.
Asking for references from other clients of the service one is using or considering using is a good idea as well. Ideally these clients should be those who would require added security measures for their sensitive information such as those in the financial or healthcare sectors. Contacting these references and asking about their experience with and opinion of the provider’s security can help one determine if service is sufficient in this respect.
Finally, testing just how secure one’s cloud services are from time to time is recommended. There are professionals who can provide this type of assessment who will deliberately try to hack into the cloud data and look for potential areas of vulnerability, and if any are detected, repair them.