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Data on the cloud: how to secure your business

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Security is certainly a hot topic in today's business world. This is especially true with the electronic data which is easily stored but unfortunately, is also easily stolen if the proper precautions are not put into place. Many businesses are turning to cloud servers because of the convenience, but along with the convenience, you need to consider compliance and security (Source: http://www.scmagazine.com/securing-data-in-the-cloud-mandate-for-encryption-and-key-management/article/332874/). If you are using a cloud server to backup your data regularly, there are some things that must be kept in mind in order to ensure that it is as safe as possible. Here are a few tips that can help you to secure your business when you are using the cloud.

Consider the Sensitivity - Although it may be necessary to store all of your data remotely for easy access elsewhere, you should also consider the sensitivity of the documents. If you have a particularly sensitive document that contains financial or other information that would harm your business if it was stolen, you may want to consider storing it locally. It is always a better idea for you to have those documents under your direct control rather than having them on a remote server and running the risk of having them be compromised.

Use Better Passwords - Most remote servers are only going to require a minimum security on the password that you choose. This may include a combination of letters and numbers and at best, they also require the use of at least one capital letter. Unfortunately, this leads to a greater likelihood that the password will be broken and the account will be hacked. Begin using more secure passwords, and it is far less likely that the data will be compromised in this way.

Use Encryption - There are a wide variety of options available for encrypting data when sending it to a remote server. Anytime you encrypt the information that is being stored remotely, it will provide an additional form of security and make it less likely that your sensitive data will be accessed by others (Source: http://blog.winmagic.com/2013/08/13/securing-the-cloud/). You should also avoid the common practice of storing the encryption key on the same remote server with the encrypted documents. Not only does this make it easy for the data to be accessed, it also may take you out of HIPPA and other data security requirements.

Check Your Connection - Many businesses are not only the taking care of work when they are in an office environment, they are also doing so on the road. You may find that you are connecting to your remote server in a variety of locations, including using Wi-Fi at hotels and restaurants. This can pose a security risk if the connection is not secure. Make sure that any data which is transferred over the connection in those locations is encrypted. This will help to secure the data when it is in transit to the cloud backup.

Provided you keep the security of your information in mind, it is possible to take advantage of the benefits that remote servers have to offer. Storing your business information on the cloud can be a convenience that will improve your productivity and often, your bottom line. When the proper security measures are put into place, it allows you to take advantage of what cloud servers have to offer without worrying about the information that is being stored elsewhere.

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