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How can you secure data when it’s stored in the cloud?

How can you secure data when it’s stored in the cloud?

These days we all have huge amounts of text documents, songs, photos, videos, and other personal data that we want to protect. Storing our data locally can be risky because a hard drive can become corrupt, and a mobile device could be lost, stolen, or broken.


What Is Cloud Storage?

 Cloud Storage refers to the relationship between the components needed to form a cloud computing network. Think front end platforms, back end platforms, cloud-based deployments, databases, applications, software capabilities, etc. Some different elements work together to form the fundamental architecture of “the cloud”.

The various components and subcomponents can be organized into the following four infrastructure categories:

  1. On-premise
  2. Cloud
  3. Software
  4. Middleware

These different components work together in various ways to form the fundamental building blocks of any cloud service. Cloud-based services, such as Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service, each have their own distinct cloud architecture.

If you do decide to use one of the services above, there are certain best practices that we recommend:

  • Unique Password – Choose a strong, unique password. Each of your accounts requires a strong unique password to keep it truly secure. Failure to do so could mean your data is exposed due to a phishing attack.
  • Password Authorizations – Use Two Factor Authorizations. Your password is the key to all your documents, which means that anybody who cracks it – or guesses the password – will instantly be able to gain access to your files. 2FA gives you an extra layer of protection that stops hackers getting access to your files.
  • Privacy – Mostly files you create in Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud, and Dropbox are set to private. However, if you decide to share access to a file or folder with somebody using a link, it is feasible that this third party could share that file or folder with somebody else. For this reason, it is important to always consider who you are sharing access to your data with, how, and why.
  • Data Encryption – Use third-party software to encrypt your data before uploading it to an online cloud service. Encrypting data before it is uploaded to service will mean that only you hold the key to the data. However, this is a long-winded approach considering that there are open source providers with end-to-end encryption available on the market.


Hybrid Cloud

Like the name suggests, a hybrid cloud converges the public and private cloud solutions into a unique type of cloud storage that offers the advantages of both. Data and applications can move between public and private clouds as needed, offering increased flexibility. Most businesses can use the public cloud for certain aspects of their work – such as webmail – but might need a private cloud for storing secure data logs. A hybrid cloud solution combines both public and private clouds to create a unique solution.

 The hybrid cloud offers many advantages:

  1. Greater control
  2. Highly customizable
  3. Cost-effective


Private Cloud

The private cloud infrastructure can reside either on-premise or with a third-party vendor. Larger enterprises with mission-critical data requiring additional security (think government agencies, financial institutions, or healthcare organizations) are more likely to use a private cloud solution. Regardless, the hardware and services are dedicated.

The private cloud offers numerous advantages:

  1. Highly scalable
  2. Highly efficient
  3. Better security
  4. Customizable


Public Cloud

You’ve likely heard about Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. These are all examples of public cloud providers. Practically, these providers own and manage all the cloud architecture – hardware, software, and other infrastructure – and deliver it as a cloud service over the internet.

 As an analogy, using the cloud is like living in a large apartment complex. The provider is the landlord, and you and any other businesses or people using their service are the “tenants”. Shared resources enable the provider to offer lower prices. You benefit from sharing the resources of other businesses since regulation compliance and infrastructure investments are likely better quality than the typical SMB could secure.

The public cloud has several other advantages:

  1. Highly scalable
  2. Cost-effective
  3. Highly reliable
  4. Expert monitoring
  5. No maintenance


Steps for secure data on a cloud

When you think about to move your data to the cloud, always finding the right data integration tool is a must. These tools streamlined the integration process by automating many of the sub-processes needed to transmigrate your data from an offline to the cloud. This is far more efficient than hand-coding the entire process from end-to-end.

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An integration tool is that it can protect you from security threats during the integration. However you choose to migrate your data, you’ll need to develop a plan for handling the migration. To begin, think about how you’ll manage the overall process:

Identify your team

You’ll need an interdisciplinary team of data architects, data scientists, and data protection experts as well as business leaders and project managers to see the integration through.

Establish your objectives

Create alignment among team members by setting ambitious but realistic goals.

Prepare for compliance

Your team will need to have its eye on all regulatory standards till started.

Profile your data

To ease the integration, you’ll need to make sure your data is well unified from the beginning. This includes unifying different types of data from multiple sources, if necessary.

Clean your data

Your data will also need to be checked for errors, inconsistencies, missing values, duplicates, and other anomalies. When these are found, you’ll need to resolve them.

Anonymize your data

To enhance security and privacy, you may want to encrypt or strip all personally identifying information from your data.