How to Reduce Cloud Security Threats

In recent years, account hijacking (service traffic hijacking) has surfaced as a serious threat to both in-house business accounts and cloud computing business accounts. When such a serious breach of security occurs it means the hacker has gained access to important credentials and passwords.

Once access is gained, accounts can be hijacked, manipulated, falsified, and copied. The sophisticated cyber criminal can transform your account into a base from which to launch future attacks by leveraging the capital of your company name. There are successful security tactics you can implement to reduce the risk of your cloud accounts being hijacked.

Employee credentials

Prohibit all sharing of account credentials between employees and stipulate there can be no exceptions. Educate employees to the dangers of leaving passwords on their desks or in other easily accessible places. Encourage the memorization of passwords. Mandate all computers are password protected when unattended.

Passwords

Require strong and enhanced passwords (16 or more characters) containing numbers, letters, and symbols. Provide a generator for creating passwords so there is no chance of employees intentionally or inadvertently using the names of pets, children, or favorite foods in their passwords. Insist that passwords be changed at least every three months.

Encryption

Educate your employees about the importance of personal credential protection, and require the use of encryption password storage. Simply defined, encryption is a secret code. Your encryption code keeps your log in information, password, and data safe from the point it departs to the point where it is received.

Authentication

Businesses with a strong online presence should consider implementing two-factor authentication (2FA – TFA) for both employees and clients. Although 2FA has been used for a number of years, the dramatic increase in cyber crime has increased its use with major Internet businesses. Most people are familiar with the use of an ATM card plus a pin number, with both items being required in order to complete the transaction. There are several other 2FA security methods in use for online businesses.

Back up your data

People have heard this stated many times and too often it is ignored. Too many people don’t understand that data backups are critical to the security of their information files. In the event your computer, server, or cloud account is “successfully” hacked, all of your data may be stolen and deleted from your account. If you don’t have a full data backup, your company can find itself in a serious situation that can cost its reputation and destroy client trust.

Updates

Don’t neglect to update your virus and malware protection on every computer and device that logs into your network. It is easier to protect your devices in advance than to try and remove malware or viruses once they have taken over. Software that is not kept current will not protect your network. A daily automatic update schedule is a good solution, as new viruses and malware code are continually developed.

VPN

Using a secure VPN (virtual private network) communication channel between computers or other devices to encrypt and protect data is an excellent solution for ensuring security when sending information over the Internet.

Almost as soon as new security solutions are developed, hackers seek to create new methods to thwart the latest security measures. Because hackers work so hard to compromise your security, it’s important to evaluate your security policies and practices at least once a year.

Cloud computing offers affordable business solutions for both small and large companies. As with any technology, you must make a determined effort to keep security at the top of the priority list. Employee training is crucial to the success of every security policy. If you are migrating to cloud computing, a tough security policy for employees is critical to a successful transition.

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