3 Tips to Improve Your Cloud Security

1/14/15 9:12 AM Jim Walsh

Password

These days everybody seems to be on high alert when it comes to cloud security and protecting their data, especially with the recent events surrounding the Sony leaked emails, and hacking groups like Anonymous and Derp on the loose. When it comes to IT Security it is essential to take the necessary steps to ensure that your data is protected, and if you follow these guidelines, your information will be safe and secure.
 
Strong Passwords

Having a strong password seems like common sense, but believe it or not some people are still using passwords like “qwerty,” “abc123,” or even just the word “password” in order to protect their important information. Splash Data recently came up with a list of the 25 worst passwords used last year, and if you see one of your passwords on the list, I’d advise you to make the appropriate adjustments. A good tip when coming up with a strong password is to actually use a password generator, a program where you can specify a passwords length, whether to include numbers and symbols, or if capitalization should come into question. You put in those specification and the generator will spit out a particularly tough password to crack. However, the best possible advice I’ve come across comes to us from Troy Hunt, a Microsoft Valuable Professional, who says “The only secure password is the one you can’t remember.” If the data you are protecting is that important, maybe relying on one isn’t enough and you should consider two-step verification.

Two-Step Verification

One process that has been becoming more and more prevalent in recent years, especially with the constant hacking that continues to occur is the method of two step verification. With two step verification, it is like you are being asked for more than just a password.   Two step verification requires you to have access to something you know (like a password) and something you have (examples include a phone, ATM card, and a USB port). Believe it or not two-step verification has been around for a long time, but is now becoming more mainstream in order to keep data protected. A common example is when you go to take out money from an ATM. In order for you to receive the money you must be in possession of an ATM card (something you have), and have the ability to enter a pin number or password (something that you know). This two-step process makes the ability to access data that much more difficult for hackers and cyber thieves. Another example of two step verification, is when you’re trying to access your data on the cloud. A lot of times you are first asked to enter your password. From there another code or pin will be sent to the phone number you inputted when you first set up the account. You will then take that pin and enter it to gain full access to your account. This will require a sense of knowledge and actually having something on your personal being to access the data you are attempting to view, and make cyber thieves lives a lot harder.

Back Up Your Data

Like anything that is important in your life, you always want to have a recovery plan, and this is especially the case when it comes to data in the cloud. Even with a strong password and two step verification processes, the possibilities of a hacker accessing your data and files is still there, and you don’t want to be one of the businesses that gets hit. In fact 40% of data dependent businesses without a survival solution never reopen. And seven out of every ten of those companies will likely go out of business within a year. You can prevent these data losses and breaching by backing up your data with services offered from iCorps Technologies like The Guardian Program, data and email encryption, and endpoint protection. Also, services like Crash Plan and Mozy work great forfor home devices, or even something as simple as an external hard drive. Anything it takes in order to assure that your company will not become extinct because your lack of data protection.

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With locations in BostonNew York and Philadelphia, iCorps Technologies can be your go-to resource for IT outsourcing, IT support and data security needs. With over 20 years in business, iCorps' IT support services takes the worry out of IT management. Feel free to contact us or comment on the blog if you have any questions when it comes to ensuring your data in the cloud is protected.