When people think about the cloud, it’s almost second nature to associate it with security risks. Recent hacks of private information from major companies make headlines, and so it is natural to be wary. While the cloud, like anything else, does come with a set of risks, there are ways to mitigate the risk of a data breach or security meltdown with a bit of due diligence.

Here are 4 tips to enhance the potential security of the cloud.

1. Research all cloud solutions thoroughly

When it comes time to choose a cloud solution for you, it’s important to research all of your options. Regardless of whether you intend to use an IaaS, PaaS, or IaaS system, it’s wise to research all cloud vendors extensively. You should look into things like their references, history of security, any known vulnerabilities, and which security practices and guarantees they offer their clients. Once you’ve chosen a cloud provider, you have the power to switch to a new company if you find their security protocols to be lacking or disappointing. While there’s no doubt that a cloud provider is an entity you have to put a great deal of trust into, evaluating every vendor you work with carefully will help keep your data secure for years to come.

2. Enlist a third party

One of the best ways to ascertain the security of a cloud vendor is to have the company evaluated by an independent third party. Cloud vendors that have been independently vetted by third-party auditors are generally more secure and on top of protocols than small independent agencies. While there’s nothing wrong with working with a small business that lacks a large IT department, it’s important to remember that having a third party evaluate the company’s protocols can go a long way toward helping you ensure that your cloud vendor of choice is following all industry protocols and security standards. Plus, larger companies are better equipped to handle large amounts of data quicker and more efficiently.

3. Utilize encryption

Encryption is more than just a buzzword in today’s society – it’s an imperative piece of cloud security. To ensure that your data is as secure and breach-proof as possible, it’s wise to encrypt everything from end-to-end. Most cloud vendors offer encryption for uploads and downloads but don’t encrypt the data they store. The level of encryption you require will depend largely upon what type of data you’re storing, but you should be advised that the most secure form of data is that which is encrypted before being uploaded to the cloud.

4. Keep your software up to date

When you upgrade your systems to the cloud, it’s important to update any in-house software you may have, as well. This is especially true for companies that use older software like Windows XP since these platforms are more liable to create security breaches even in the face of third-party evaluations. By keeping all of your software up to date, you can reduce the risk of preventable data breaches and ensure that all of your systems are running as smoothly as possible.

Conclusion

While it’s valid to have concerns about the safety of your data in the cloud, it’s easy to be proactive about ensuring that everything you store is as secure as possible. By researching all cloud vendors, hiring third-party auditors to evaluate a vendor’s security, making use of end-to-end encryption, and keeping all of your in-house software up to date, you can do your part to ensure that your data is secure and safe from theft, data breaches, or security infringements.

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