The world of IT might be moving to the cloud, but the fundamentals of data protection remain. Your files are still vulnerable to the usual. mishaps like deletion and corruption.
As long as you choose the right partners and take appropriate precautions, you can enjoy the convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness that the cloud offers
In cloud technology, your data is transmitted from your device through the internet and stored in multiple servers, usually located across several geographic locations. You need three things to access your files: an internet connection, an internet-ready device, and the right credentials, usually a username and password.
The process looks simple , but it involves a variety of security measures that protect your data every step of the way. Data loss in the cloud does occur, however, usually because of four common factors:
- Accidental deletion – This usually occurs when users are not careful with managing or removing files on the cloud. Confusion over similar file names, not paying attention to the task at hand, and malfunctioning hardware may erase your data.
- Overwriting – The same causes behind accidental deletion can result in data being overwritten by mistake. Overwriting may also occur because of the applications in your system. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application updates, for instance, involve large data sets that may overwrite some of your existing data.
- Malicious parties – Never underestimate the ingenuity of humans and their ability to break through even the most robust cloud defenses. Many hackers gain access to the cloud because of weak passwords or users who make little effort to conceal their passwords. Some hackers take advantage of insecure networks and intercept information on its way to and from the servers.
- Hardware failure – Even the cloud falls victim to occasional hardware hiccups, although such issues occur rarely and are quickly fixed.
Data loss can have very serious repercussions. A 2018 review found that data breaches cost US companies $7.91 billion on average. This doesn’t include non-financial impacts, such as lost business opportunities from the loss of customer trust. As a business owner, you need to take the following steps to prevent the loss of data in your cloud storage system:
#1 Train your employees
Users — that means you and your employees — are a much bigger threat to cloud data security than hackers. For this reason, you need to make sure you and your staff are trained in and updated on security protocols and best practices.
Educate them on the importance of presence of mind when handling data on the cloud. Encourage your staff to use strong passwords instead of the usual “123456” or “password,” and to update them regularly. Remind them not to download software from untrustworthy sources or use their personal email for work-related activities.
If your cloud storage is accessed through a web application, make sure it says “https” before the URL in the address bar instead of “http”. The “s” means the protocol you’re using is secure.
#2 Choose experienced partners
A cloud provider is a third party that owns and manages the servers where your files are stored. Select a provider that encrypts your data on the way to and from the servers. This prevents data from being read even if it’s intercepted and stolen over the internet by malicious parties.
Additionally, make sure the provider’s system replicates your files and stores them in different servers. The additional copies are not just handy for disaster recovery, they also ensure that you can restore your data in cases of overwriting and accidental deletion.
Managed services providers (MSPs) also play an important role in preventing data loss. They implement comprehensive network security solutions that protect your data from cyberattacks and maintain your IT system to keep it functional at all times. You can also ask your MSP to set up your system so that it regularly creates backups of your files for easy recovery.
Cloud technology is not perfect but the same is true with any data storage system today. It’s high-tech, but this should not make you complacent or stop you from doing what’s right to prevent data loss. Keep your data safe. Contact us to learn how!