The cloud has become more common place and more used than ever imagined. Indeed, before Covid it was gaining popularity and business of all shapes and sizes were using cloud capability to compete. However, both during and (it is envisaged) after this pandemic cloud uptake and usage is expected to grow and increase even further. The cloud is now used for access to global applications from mobile devices as well as entertainment and business from all over the world all of the time.
Here are some great tips for cloud security.
The cloud and access to software and apps
The most popular software suites will have built-in protection and, as they are used by over 1.5 billion people worldwide, this is a great place to start in terms of what you can do to increase your online security. Their simplicity lies in the fact that you are probably also using these services already.
As such, the integrated use of the related Office 365 Security is possibly the most basic of all cloud security tips. If you are computing in the cloud and using Office 365 then ensure that you have the basic level of security in place. It is a great tip, but as mentioned it is the most basic of the safety and security measures that you will need to take if you are embarking on cloud computing. It is one of the golden standards of cloud computing.
Converge all safety and security tools and services
The main tip that we can provide, after ensuring that you have a basic level of protection from the office or business software platforms that you have chosen, is to ensure both your physical and software assets are secure and integrated into one cyber security strategy. Integrating logical, information, physical and personnel security with business continuity, disaster recovery and risk management is key to a converged security strategy. It not only saves costs as you are establishing a holistic strategy with a central management point, but it also reduced duplication and redundancy in terms of organizational security.
Whether this means accountability for all security across your organization and platforms lie with just one person, or are shared across a team of people, the aim is look at security in a holistic way that assesses the risks of all assets and at all end points. Conducting a risk assessment might seem like an unnecessary task if you have certain security measures in place, but with research showing that just over half of organizations actually conduct one, it is something more companies should be doing as a regular exercise.
Educate your staff, customers and clients
Anyone who can access the network or your services through the cloud must be aware of your safety protocols and the rationale behind any data collection related to cyber security. The downloading of apps must be approved and regulated, and this can be seen by those who use the system as an unnecessary restriction and as such you need to spend time explaining and creating an understanding around the use of the system, the power of cloud computing and also the risks and the mitigating factors that you have put in place for the business.
Back up all data and then back up again
Thinking that your cloud-based system is immune to data loss is foolhardy. All systems are susceptible to loss and backing up the data and information you store and share on your platforms is key to ensuring cloud security. This can include a local backup which allows you to quickly access data if there are any problems with the cloud or the network. Accessing a local server is much faster and more efficient than waiting for the connection to be restored to the cloud. While this may require an initial investment in hardware and space, the peace of mind that you get from it is worth that initial outlay.
If you do not have the space and are not confident of only using a local backup system, you can consider the cloud-to-cloud backup solution that is becoming increasingly popular. The clear advantage is that you can still access this data from anywhere and it is immune to any attack on your office network. But, as with most things, there are disadvantages. In this case, the costs of recovery and of storing increasing amounts of data can add up, so will need to be carefully considered before taking this option on.
Keeping your cloud-based assets such as information and data secure requires a strong strategy within your organization. Whether you are a small home-based organization or a large enterprise, knowing where your risks lie, assessing the needs of your organization and planning accordingly are just the first steps.