How to Protect Your Cloud Data from Hackers: 6 Ways to Keep Your Data Safe

 With 67% of enterprise infrastructure moving to the cloud, you can safely assume that the age of the cloud is finally here. This number will only get higher, and large and small enterprises will soon store their data on cloud platforms.  However, cloud data protection is still evolving as new threats emerge. Cyber-attacks continue to grow yearly, and enterprises need to take steps to protect their data against hackers. By taking the measures described in this article, you can be sure that your data is protected by extra controls and is not getting into the wrong hands.

What is Cloud Data Protection?

Once your data is in the cloud, it is in the hands of your cloud service provider. However, just because something is in the cloud doesn’t mean that it is completely secure.  Cloud data protection are the measures you and your cloud service provider take to ensure your enterprise’s data is protected from hackers, corruption, breach, and permanent loss. Though the cloud platform is arguably one of the most secure storage platforms, it is still not 100% because there are cases of hackers gaining access to data.  Just look at the example of the biggest data breach. From 2013 to 2016, the data of 3 billion Yahoo users were compromised. Is your data secure in the cloud if something like this can occur with a large company like Yahoo? Consequently, everyone needs to be aware of cloud data protection. Related: What is Cloud Data Management?

Why is Cloud Data Protection Important?

Data is an asset even in raw, unorganized, and unstructured forms. It has become one of the most important factors in a highly digitized world because it has become a way to gain insights that can drive business intelligence.  However, data can also be misused if the wrong person gains access. It can result in fraud, monetary losses, and business downtime.  Therefore, you and your cloud service providers must look at the best cloud data protection solutions to protect your enterprise’s critical data stored in the cloud.  Related: Twelve most prominent challenges in Data Storage and Data Management

How to Protect Your Cloud Data from Hackers

1 – Encrypt Your Data

Encryption is one of the best forms of data protection for the cloud. Most good cloud providers and SaaS solutions will automatically encrypt your data during ingestion into the cloud platform.  These firms also provide you the option to encrypt your data after upload. In this way, your data is protected by encryption in transit and while at rest.  This end-to-end encryption makes it impossible for hackers to make sense of it in the unlikely event that they do gain access.  

2 – Be Smart with Your Passwords & switch on Two Factor Authentication

Here’s a startling statistic: 

Human error accounts for 95% of cyberattack vulnerabilities. 

One of the main causes of this is the use of weak passwords or passwords that can be easily cracked.  Today, almost everything you do online, from your social media platforms to watching a film or series on an OTT platform, requires a password.  Keeping track of all these passwords can be hard, but when it comes to important data, you must create a difficult, uncrackable password.  Experts recommend using a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters AND changing passwords often. Don’t use well-known dates, passwords, and phrases. Good online software may even give you the option to define a password expiry to force a change of password. Use this option. Add more security by using a 2-step verification process. The 2-step verification is now becoming the standard and is a great way to protect access and data.  2-factor authentication involves using two inputs, one that you know (password) and one that you have (a unique number or OTP generated to a phone typically)  Taking the human error out will ensure your data is safe.  

3 – Secure Your Devices

Many times, a data breach occurs through compromised devices. Don’t overlook the significance of your devices in your pursuit of cloud data protection and management. If you are using Windows and Android-based devices, you have to be extra careful as they are primary targets for hackers. But this does not mean MAC and Linux devices are safe. They can also be easily targeted.  To secure your devices, you can follow some key best practices:

  • Update and upgrade the software and hardware whenever necessary. 
  • Invest in premium quality anti-virus software with a strong firewall to protect your network and all devices connected to the network. 
  • Use a premium virtual private network (VPN) to connect to the internet. VPN protects your location and encrypts your connection. 

Doing all these will ensure your data is safe in the cloud. 

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4 – Setup Access Control

Should each employee in your company have access to all of your data? Naturally, no.  Just like there is an organizational hierarchy in your enterprise, there also should be a hierarchy regarding data access on the cloud. You can set up access control on which administrator and employee or position gets access to which data.  Even though this seems like such a logical next step, many businesses take the shortcut of giving full access to all data to the relevant staff. This could be because the IT teams have no easy way to define access policies in the solutions they consume. Remember, most data breaches occur because of human error, and limiting access will lower the chances of a data breach. Create the right access control and work with your cloud data protection company to implement these controls.  

5 – Run Vulnerability detection tests

Once everything is in place, you cannot just assume it will work perfectly.  Deploy a practice to periodically scan your cloud infrastructure or the SaaS tool that is storing your data, for vulnerabilities and weak intrusion spots. If you are a regulated industry you may be required to do this as part of your compliance processes. By testing the safety measures, you have taken for data protection for the cloud, you can spot any gaps and shortcomings and get a chance to fix these issues before a hacker catches them.  It would be ideal to avail the services of a SaaS provider or cloud infrastructure provider that already does vulnerability scans as part of their security operations. And then your tests become a second layer of testing, which can uncover more vulnerabilities. 

6 – The Right Cloud Service

The best thing you can do to protect your cloud data is to choose the right cloud service provider. Today, enterprises have many choices regarding service providers, but to make the right choice, you need to know your cloud data storage, access, and migration needs.  Your cloud service provider should help in making your data secure through their security framework and processes.  You may want to check the following in a vendor:

  • A good, reliable reputation of having served customers in your or related sectors. 
  • Ability to optimize storage costs since ongoing storage growth is imminent
  • A cloud-native solution that can maximize the benefits of the rich cloud infrastructure and services provided by cloud vendors like AWS.
  • Offer very high data durability to ensure that your data benefits from redundancy including a disaster recovery site.
  • Guarantee performance via an SLA.

Final Thoughts  Cloud data storage and processing is not the future of data storage; it has already become the present.  It is just a matter of time before all enterprises switch to cloud services as the primary method of storing and using their critical data.  Choosing a service provider which has robust security practices and augmenting those with the six practices described above, will ensure your data can withstand all cyber attacks.

Vaultastic Will Protect Your Data

If cloud-based data protection is a priority for your enterprise, you should consider choosing Vaultastic for your email and data storage solutions We are experts in business-critical data management and can work with you to give you the right cloud data protection solutions and the peace of mind of knowing your enterprise’s data is safe and secure Vaultastic delivers a SaaS service hosted on AWS, a public cloud, to help you manage your data and gain agility as a business. Vaultastic is deployed as a hybrid cloud for on-premises mail solutions like Zimbra, CPanel, etc., or as a multi-cloud solution for cloud workplace and business communication environments such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and more. Sign up for a free trial today to understand how well Vaultastic can protect your data.

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