Is Cloud Technology Actually Safe and Secure?

August 4, 2015

The Cloud is here to stay, and it will continue to evolve.

It is a place where we can easily put our data, access it, and share it.  The Cloud supplies us with relevant applications to access this data both for personal use and business use.  And just like anything else we have for personal reasons or business reasons, it is our responsibility to preserve and protect it.

The notion of cloud-computing is very likable.  It offers economies of scale, increases flexibility of choice, and creates opportunities for job specialization/offloading to qualified resources that do not need to be owned by yourself or your business. There are however some responsibilities that are not owned by cloud service providers that compromise security.

Here are four important things that every user of the cloud should establish to ensure their cloud technology is safe and secure:

  1. Update your browser.  Companies like Microsoft and Google have countless experts reviewing security requirements and subsequently modifying their products to make the Internet safe for its users.  If you are using an outdated browser, you are leaving your door unlocked.  Lock your door!
  2. Look for SSL and pay attention to the browser padlock.  A browser with a URL of https:// means that the data is encrypted between your cloud provider and your browser.  Encrypted data is way harder to crack than non-encrypted data over just http.  Clicking on a browser padlock will alert you to specific security warnings between the host and your device.
  3. Evaluate your Cloud provider.  Due to specialization and compliance requirements, most cloud providers probably offer greater security than you would create yourself, but they are not all created equal. The physical structure, security procedures, staffing power and certifications are all criteria for evaluation. If you are choosing one for your business, review it with your corporate security team to make sure it meets your corporate standards and compliance requirements.  If you do not have one, the cloud is here to stay, so it’s probably time to create one.
  4. Establish Best Practices.  Most measures of security compliance involve a security policy.  In your home it might be lock the doors and cancel the paper delivery while you are on vacation.  At our office, we have a very lengthy security policy that covers a spectrum of topics like employee hiring/termination, the use of wireless networks, password maintenance and acceptable use of the fax machine to protect business data.  These topics were documented and created to establish the security rules to protect our business and our customers’ data.

If you follow these tips, you can play your part in ensuring that cloud technology continues to be safe and secure for all users.