Cloud Hacking: Don’t Fear the Cloud

By NE Docs | April 1, 2015

Cloud Hacking Don’t Fear the Cloud

With so many major security breaches and Cloud hacking stories in the news, it is no surprise that Cloud technology has begun to develop a reputation for a lack of security. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, cloud services can be incredibly safe for your data, as many cloud services are designed to ensure and enhance the security of your information.  It is important to understand that data breaches do not illustrate the risks of cloud computing. On the contrary, they illustrate issues in how available security measures are implemented.

Cloud technology enables businesses to reduce downtime, enhance data retention, and access enterprise level architectures without the enterprise cost. In addition to the cost savings, the Cloud has enabled companies to break down geographic barriers, making it easy to access data regardless of location. With countless positive applications, it is hard to ignore the benefits that cloud technology and SaaS offerings can bring to an organization.

Unfortunately, there are some wary professionals and Cloud critics who believe that with every new Cloud innovation, there is a new potential threat to your information security. While there is some truth to this belief, these new threats are met with new and improved security measures. While technological advances in Cloud computing might offer new ways to steal your data, they are also making it easier than ever to handle these risks and remain compliant with industry regulations.

It is important to remember that information security goes both ways.  Cloud technology providers should do their best to ensure the safety of your data. However, companies who employ cloud technology should be taking advantage of every security feature and work internally to minimize their risks. Consider, for example, the fact that user error is far more likely to result in a data breach than any attempts to hack or steal your information.

However, in the event that some malicious party does attempt to hack your precious data, there are a number of responses and preventative measures one can take. For example, many cloud solutions provide IP addressing, session timeouts, and audit trails to track the smallest details as they pertain to the lifecycle your data. With strong passwords, data encryption, activity tracking, and other security features, the risks of cloud computing become trivial.

Remove Your Cloud Hacking Fears

  1. Available Security Features: Any cloud service worth their salt will offer security features in addition to basic service offerings or bundles. Make sure that you leverage these offers to your advantage. For example, choosing to upgrade your cloud service to include a two-factor authentication is preferable to a data breach. Understanding all available security features, such as IP addressing or session timeouts, is important when evaluating the potential risks (or lack of risks) of a cloud service.
  2. Passwords: Great security starts with a great password. Whether you are safeguarding a personal email account, or protecting corporate data, having a strong password is the easiest and more important way to deter hackers. Implementing password best practices will not only increase the safety of your cloud – it will increase the security of EVERYTHING you password protect. Remember to keep your passwords at least 15 characters long and include numbers and special characters whenever possible.
  3. Encryption: Encryption is key for data security. If your data is encrypted properly, it will be unreadable by hackers…even if they get their hands on it. An encrypted document will be presented as an unreadable mess of data and symbols, keeping safe your data from prying eyes.
  4. Early Adoption Combats Threats: The best way to defend against the threat of cloud hacking and other associated risks is to embrace the cloud. Larger companies, like Home Depot and Sony are more susceptible to threats, and have a harder time implementing security solutions than a smaller organization would. Furthermore, it is advantageous to implement new security protocols while your infrastructure is still manageable. This will allow your company’s cloud use to scale as the company grows, rather than play a costly game of catch-up down the road.

It is easy to understand how Cloud technology provides businesses with a competitive edge. Yet, many companies have chosen to forfeit a competitive advantage due to the fear of the very tools that would assist their growth. It is important to understand that the benefits of the cloud outweigh any fears or threats of cloud hacking.

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