Security First: How to Keep Your Clients' Data Safe on the Cloud

Business.com / Technology / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

The advantages of cloud computing also come with their share of high risks. Keeping client data safe has become top priority businesses.

The cloud might be revolutionizing the way we perform computing activities, but the growing reliance on the Internet has also opened up a whole new avenue of security and safety threats.

This growing Internet-dependent has made it more difficult to prevent any security risk to data. And the only thing more important than your own data, is the data of your clients.

Cloud computing’s immense advantages come with their share of high risks, and keeping client data safe has become top priority for many business.

The only way to ensure client data security is by taking a number of some simple, yet critical steps to safeguard their data.  

Consolidated Storage Locations

It is estimated that data breaches cost local businesses more than three million dollars a year, with a large majority of companies storing their data over a broad spectrum of data servers.

It is important to note that each additional data storage site exponentially increases your overall exposure to data risks. Increased storage locations also need multiple efforts to ensure that the data is secured, leading to higher costs. Minimizing the number of data storage locations and devices will streamline your entire data security plan by giving you greater control.  

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Employee Access

Employees are another major risk factor is data security, despite the data being stored on the cloud. It is important to limit the level of employee access to sensitive client cloud data, for your clients’ sake and the sake of your reputation.

Implementation of passwords for computers and servers will ensure optimum protection, but ensure that you change the access rights when a critical employee leaves, especially when the data is cloud-based. Passwords and security keys should obscure to the extent that no one could guess them. It would also be useful to have a policy related to purging outdated data from your systems.  

High-quality Security Software

The thing about security is that you can almost never have enough of it. Hacking, phishing, and plain old data theft are increasingly on the rise, and having inadequate security software makes you and your client data an easy target. The best course of action is to have multiple layers of security software that will make it harder for hackers to reach your sensitive client data.

This, along with firewalls, Internet security and other high-end anti-virus software that covers all your devices, will ensure your client data is tamper proof. Employing encryption protocols will further reduce risk by scrambling the data, rendering it useless without the right decryption codes.  

Related Article:Study Shows Small Businesses Are Doubling Profits by Switching to Cloud Computing

Regular Updates

Major online security firms have claimed that an estimated 200,000 malicious programs and viruses are created every day, making one shudder at the thought of how safe their cloud data really is.

And although it might be a time consuming process, keeping your security software up to date might be the only way to protect against such threats. This doesn’t just include your online security software, but operating systems and protocols as well.  

Remote Purging

Organizations are making increasing use of mobile devices, thanks to greater Internet speeds and increasing demands for work from home. But apart from offering unprecedented levels of convenience in conducting routine activities, it has also presented a whole new dimension of risks.

Remote hacking and physical theft of data devices means that your client data is at risk of being accessed by unauthorized elements. Remote formatting software can greatly reduce this risk as it allows you to delete sensitive data as soon as a device is reported stolen or missing. Most mainstream device manufacturers already offer the option of remote data wiping.  

Protect In-Transit Data

In almost every business scenario, there is some degree of data downloading and transmission. Data is most vulnerable during such transmission phases because most cloud service providers do not encrypt data while it is being transmitted, which means that it can be stolen or tampered with. Even popular services like Drobox do not transmit encrypted data. However, services like sync.com and E-box provide encrypted data transfers.  

Related Article:Finding Comfort in the Cloud: Resolving Security Fears Around Cloud Computing

Choose Your Cloud Provider Wisely

At the most basic level, choosing your cloud service provider can make all the difference when securing your clients’ cloud data. Your best bet would be to choose a reputable provider who offers class-leading security for their cloud solutions. But if you prefer storing you client data on private servers, its best to choose a trusted host.

Additionally, you can hire the services of an IT consultant to make such decisions for you. Despite its usefulness, the Internet can be dangerous place for data storage. But then again, storing client data on your own computer might pose the same level of risk. And with so many organizations and clients questioning the security of their data on the cloud, following the above steps will significantly mitigate the risks.

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