As more users and more of our work shifts to the cloud, security becomes a more pressing concern. Cloud security is a complicated issue, and when you consider it as a global issue, it’s made more complicated by sometimes-inconsistent laws regulating data flow across borders.
In the meantime, there are steps that individuals and businesses can take to tackle cloud privacy:
Data breaches are one of the biggest threats to cloud security, and encryption can help prevent them. Encryption software lets you protect files, making it nearly impossible for anyone to see the content. Some cloud services provide local encryption and decryption for you; services like Spideroak and Wuala offer storage, syncing, and sharing, as well as security to protect your data.
You can also encrypt data yourself, using software like BoxCryptor or TrueCrypt. They work with most popular cloud services, and are free to use, although you can also pay for upgrades. BoxCryptor has gotten high praise for encrypting individual files, which means the files sync with cloud storage immediately after you save them.
- Build a Private Cloud
Many companies opt to build a private cloud, which is a cloud computing platform run within a company’s firewall. It has the same features as public cloud systems, but gives a company control over data and keeps that data secure. The potential downsides to building a private cloud are cost – the business that builds it also has to run it and manage IT resources – and a greater loss potential in the event of a natural disaster.
Building a private cloud makes the most sense for certain industries that handles confidential and sensitive information, like health care, legal, and government sectors.
- Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Passwords
You may have heard that a secure password is important so many times that the warning seems mundane, but it really is an important security consideration. If you want to get serious about password protection, consider installing a password manager.
Most are easy to install as browser plug-ins. They will save your information, sync your passwords across all of your devices, and most will also generate strong passwords for you. That way you don’t have to try to remember passwords like “87yt140,” which are secure, but impossible for most people to recall. Dashlane, LastPass, and Sticky Password are some of the more popular products.
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