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By: karim on October 3rd, 2014

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Securing Cloud Storage: Lessons Learned via Target and Home Depot

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Whether it’s the recent celebrity hacks or large data breaches at Target, Home Depot and Jimmy John’s, one thing is clear: it’s important to guard cloud data. Data storage is becoming increasingly complex and virtual, but so are hackers. Truly keeping your data safe requires adherence to responsible practices and safety procedures.

What We Learned from Corporate Data Breaches

When Target, Home Depot and Jimmy John’s recently reported large-scale data breaches, it shocked many people who’d considered their information safe with such large companies. Some thought cloud data was completely invincible and untouchable. Industry experts contend cloud data is safer than physical data, but warn that advanced hackers can get their foot in the door if proper safety and prevention measures aren’t in place.

These breaches are prime examples of what can go wrong and remind business owners of the importance to plan for the best, but prepare for the worst. Know where your sensitive data is and apply these protection tips to keep your information guarded. Whenever possible, protect your private information with multiple layers of protection and always back up data for peace of mind.

How to Protect Your Cloud Data

Cloud data — while much preferred over standard methods of storage — is not invincible. Protecting your data from prying eyes and dangerous hackers takes planning and preparation. Here are a few security tips for protecting your cloud data:

  • Double backup. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, regardless of how good that basket is. In this case, the basket is your cloud storage platform. Instead of storing everything in one place, consider backing up all pertinent files in the cloud and on physical drives. If something goes wrong with one source, you’ve always got another standing by.
  • Don’t link all accounts. In theory, linking all accounts together sounds like a good idea. It saves time and frustration while maximizing convenience. However, in the event of a data or security breach, your linked accounts act as a row of dominoes for the hacker. Give them access to one account and they’ll keep going from there.
  • Use multiple passwords. Having the same password (or even alteration of the same password) might be convenient and easy to remember, but it’s not the smartest idea. Your cloud accounts, email accounts, bank accounts and other business logins should have unique passwords to deter hackers from gaining access to multiple data points in one fatal swoop. Make sure your passwords aren’t on a “Top Ten Most Used (and easily hacked) Passwords” list.
  •  Two-step identification. One of the most effective ways to prevent cloud data breaches is called two-step (or multi-factor) identification. This method of logging in requires you to prove your identity before logging into your account from a new device. For example, if you were to attempt to login to your cloud account from a new laptop, a verification code would be sent to your cell phone. You would then have to enter the verification code appearing on your phone before being able to login from the new laptop.

While cloud data storage is certainly more secure than some of the traditional physical forms, it isn’t perfect. Learn from the large-scale data breaches of Home Depot, Target and Jimmy John’s as examples and ensure your data is truly safe and secure.

For more information on cloud data storage and how to keep your information safe, please contact Framework Communications today!