10 Golden Rules of Cloud Security

The biggest issue that faces every user of a cloud service, regardless of whether they’re a home or business user, is security. How can you be certain your data is safe from hackers in the cloud? Nothing is 100% secure, but we can take precautions.

Ensuring Cyber security is often endeavoured by having multiple layers of security in place. Here then are ten golden rules for cloud security.

Rule 1 – Always use a cloud service that offers full encryption for your data. Ideally, the cloud service should offer 256-bit AES military-grade encryption across all its communications and storage. This way, it’s going to be exceedingly difficult for a hacker to gain entry through brute force alone.

Rule 2 – Encrypting your data before uploading it to a cloud service is a highly sensible idea. Providing you take steps to ensure the encryption keys are safe then, should someone ever gain entry to your account, all your data appears as a jumble of characters.

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Rule 3 – If you’re going to use a cloud service to store your data, it’s best to fully read and digest the Terms of Service of the cloud provider. You’ll be able to see where they store your data, what actions they’ll perform to ensure its safety, and what they’ll do in the event of a breach or data disaster.

Rule 4 – If possible, try not to store any sensitive and extremely personal data on the cloud. However, if you do, then make sure it is encrypted before being uploaded to the cloud. Bank details, names, addresses, credit card number, etc. all are worth their weight in gold to a hacker. Also, don’t store any text files containing passwords on the cloud.

Rule 5 – Make sure the password used to access your cloud service is strong and doesn’t contain anything relating to you – such as your surname, street name, and so on. The number of people who still use ‘password’ as their password is unbelievable. Try instead to insert numbers, capital letters, and symbols.

Rule 6 – If a cloud service offers a two-step verification process, then it’s best to use it. A two-step process involves you entering a password, which you receive via SMS, and often includes an email informing you of when and where the login has taken place. This way you’re doubling up on the security access layer.

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Rule 7 – While having the ability to upload everything to the cloud automatically is certainly helpful, there is a concern that items you don’t want in the cloud could get uploaded by mistake. Automatic syncing is great, but as celebrity news often dictates, it’s not always beneficial.

Rule 8 – Attempts to access your data in the cloud don’t always come from some hacker in front of a multi-monitor setup. We’re all familiar with social engineering being used to obtain personal information, with callers claiming to be from top organisations needing to gain access to your computer. Don’t fall for it.

Rule 9 – Be careful when it comes to sharing files and folders from the cloud. While it’s the ideal solution for collaboration, mistakenly giving someone the wrong level of access, or access to something they shouldn’t be viewing, can have disastrous consequences for an individual or a business.

Rule 10 – Although your cloud data is pretty secure, it’s always best to have at least a couple of extra backup locations to hand. As the saying goes, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. While Google Drive isn’t likely to go bankrupt anytime soon, it’s still worth having another recent backup within easy reach.

 

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David Hayward

David has spent most of his life tinkering with technology, from the ZX Spectrum, getting his hands on a Fujitsu VPP5000/100 supercomputer, and coding on an overheating Raspberry Pi. He's written for the likes of Micro Mart, Den of Geek, and countless retro sites and publications, covering reviews, creating code and bench testing the latest tech. He also has a huge collection of cables.

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