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How to Secure the Cloud at the Hardware level

Posted on Fri, Oct 19, 2012

cloud securityThe advent of cloud technology has revealed that the solution can pose great advantages to a business—as well as new threats to a network's security. As more and more companies choose to make their data available from anywhere by storing it in the cloud (on a server instead of a hard drive), it has become even more critical to find ways to keep hardware secure.

Network security is always a top priority, so understanding how to keep your employees' hardware protected is critical. Should you choose to outsource to a cloud provider, first ensure that your cloud provider is keeping its own servers well protected. Securing both your own hardware and knowing that your cloud provider's hardware is secure are the most important factors in securing the cloud at the hardware level.

1. Keep your own hardware protected to enhance your network's security

When utilizing cloud services, or any services for that matter, the goal is to enhance performance while maintaining security. The best strategy to secure the hardware your staff uses to access the cloud is to focus on passwords. We all know passwords were designed to keep data away from unwanted eyes, but these days hackers have more ways than ever to crack password codes.

Play It Smart with Passwords. Your passwords are like locks that keep hackers from gaining access to data on your hardware - but keeping up with password changes can be a cumbersome and derailing task. That’s why too many people rely on the easiest words to remember: a pets name, or just a litany of numbers (1234). IT policy should require all employees to create passwords that are more difficult for hackers to crack: words or phrases that include a combination of capital and lower case letters, random symbols, etc.

Also, never reuse or share passwords from hardware to hardware. Ask employees to not use the same phrases or passwords from any of their personal devises. Your network's security depends on the strength of your passwords.

2. Understand the security measures used by your cloud provider

Your cloud service provider should be able to inform you of the most effective solutions to keep your data secure. Most solutions feature enterprise-grade storage — some will store copies of data in multiple locations and synchronize them to ensure it is readily available at all times. To keep your network security at maximum strength while using the cloud, your cloud provider should use encryption (utilizing 256 bit SSL in transit) to protect data. It can also be beneficial to implement a hardware-based VPN to the cloud or perhaps get a MPLS line between your IT department and the cloud, keeping your important data more secure than ever.

Some providers might even leverage technology to ensure ultra secure cloud use. In the U.S., a cloud provider's safest option would have all facilities be SAS 70 Type II audited (for maximum security).

3. Finally, back it up. Back it up.

In the end, you can do all you can to keep your network security maximized at the hardware level. But you should still always back up your data. Also, having copies of your files will ensure your data is always secure—giving you and your company more peace of mind. 

Want to find out about additional ways to secure your environment through Managed Security?

Tags: Cloud Computing, Security, Network Security

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