Sensitive data is a concept that every organization must have in mind in their daily operation. Every business contains critical data that needs to be secured to guarantee a proper workflow within the company.
No matter the business model and the field of expertise, every business needs to secure content, whether that is client’s personal information, banking info, valuable confidential information vital to the organization’s success plan, you name it.
Failing to implement a data protection protocol is a risk that could prove to be catastrophic for a business. Financial costs, loss of public image, expenses related to legal proceedings, are just a few of the nefarious consequences of a flawed or non-existent protection program.
For that reason, and if your organization uses a cloud provider, you're probably looking for ways to safeguard sensitive data stored in the cloud. Look no further, this guide will let you know the best practices to follow.
Why cloud data protection is a must
As it has become apparent, the security of your data is critical, especially as you move away from traditional storage solutions in the cloud. Cloud-based solutions can provide a secure environment for storing and accessing your data, including financial data, valuable company information, banking info, clients’ personal addresses, among many others.
Some of the factors that explain the emergence of cloud data protection strategies inside organizations include:
- Businesses are moving data to the cloud at a faster pace than ever before;
- The vast volumes of data, ranging from very sensitive business, financial, and consumer information require a cloud security protocol that is vital for the organization’s health;
Cloud data protection strategies make use of technologies and procedures to safeguard company data stored in the cloud.
Data protection practices should be designed to protect both data at rest and data during transit. These methods should apply to all data, regardless of location within the organization.
Companies are learning how difficult it is to preserve and secure all of their data across numerous settings as they go through this process. In order to accomplish this, security teams should know the basic guidelines they should be enforcing inside their organization.
Here are 5 best practices to help you secure data in the cloud
Know your cloud provider
Investigate every possible cloud provider in the market. When choosing a cloud service, make sure they check every item in the list:
- Highly recommended by peers and reputable firms;
- Well versed in your field;
- Able to deliver a customized product;
- Capable of accompanying your growth over time.
Besides that, and perhaps the most important aspect to pay attention to when choosing a cloud service is how that provider handles a possible incident.
In case a breach happens, your provider's strategy of defense, mitigation, and support deployment should be known and well-documented. In the worst-case scenario, several fail-safes and alarms should be activated right away, alerting to an intrusion or risk of exploitation, as well as an emergency lockdown that prevents data from being taken or decrypted.
Deploy file-level encryption
Even if cloud suppliers provide rudimentary encryption, organizations should employ file-level encryption techniques on top of that. There are plenty of simple tools that can provide file-level encryption.
This type of software may be used as a complement to your cloud data protection plan. The upside of combining the two is that it becomes easy to have both collaborative and protected files in the cloud. Only the sensitive ones need encryption, while the others remain accessible.
Inside the cloud, sensitive information can also be broken into smaller fragments. Even if threat actors manage to infiltrate the system, storing the different bits in multiple locations makes it more difficult for an attacker to gain access to the full file.
Discover security faults between systems
Use security tools to assist you in detecting any security flaws that you can close on your own. Security and compliance are always a joint effort between your firm and your cloud service provider.
That implies you'll need to stay vigilant. Ensure that your storage provider separates client databases and, at the same time, access is correctly firewalled on your end.
Discovering security gaps between systems is of the utmost importance because several services are usually integrated with cloud systems. The more systems and suppliers you add to your stack, the more holes you'll find.
As an organization, you must identify each security flaw and take action to guarantee that the data and assets shared and utilized by these systems are secure. Relying on third parties to secure the data is not an option, companies must also implement their own to guarantee compliance and security.
Implement regular backups
Backups can be life-saving. Create data copies regularly and save them somewhere other than the primary repository.
Backups should be performed on a regular basis to safeguard your company from significant data loss, especially during a data wipeout. When an incident occurs, data replicas allow you to continue working offline.
Develop an employee training strategy
A cloud security policy does not ensure that cloud resources are used properly. Many employees aren't familiar with either cybersecurity rules and regulations or the looming security threats you can find online.
Involving every employee in the security landscape of the organization is one of the most important steps to take to create a safer workspace for all. When doing so, make sure you cover the fundamentals:
- Enforcing a safe password protocol is one of the ways to increase security at the individual level. Enforcing compliance can be done via password generator software which can make it easier for untrained employees to follow.
- Investing in personnel data security training is the best course of action to reduce security threats within your company.
- Having encryption company-wide is the single best cybersecurity solution to implement. With this type of software, every communication in or outside the cloud is secured.
Employee training should be done at every level, including everyone from the employees who have access to sensitive information all the way to workers with the lowest level of access.
The dangers of security breaches and every kind of threat an organization faces should be the focal point, covering the possible consequences an incident has both for the company and the individual.
By involving your employees in the security picture of the organization you’ll be one step closer to an overall smooth operation.
Cloud data protection is a complex topic that needs to be addressed by every modern company. Moving to the cloud can be a game-changer for contemporary business, but such an important change must be reflected on before taking place.
By following the five best practices recommended in this article not only will your data and sensitive information be more protected, but you’ll notice an improved workflow within the organization.
From choosing the right provider to making sure you invest in encryption across your whole organization, every detail matters.
If your business has moved to the cloud, guaranteeing a proper cloud data protection strategy is just as important as everything else inside the organization.