October 11th, 2019
More and more, your business is storing sensitive data on the Cloud. You need to know how to keep information regarding your company and your customers safe. Your trusted hosting provider successfully ensures that your data is safe in the Cloud. However, as soon as your data leaves the Cloud interacting with other systems it could become vulnerable to hackers.
Breaches happen all over the internet on a daily basis. More often than not, these breaches happen due to information not on the Cloud, but rather, on different systems that, for example, store back-ups of databases that could hold customer information including but not limited to financial information, email addresses, physical addresses, telephone numbers and so on. So as a business owner, you need to do whatever it takes to ensure that this data is protected.
Device Encryption Or Offline Data Storage
When you data is not encrypted it has a potential of being hacked. Would you leave a piece of paper on your desk that has all of your bank account information and any online pass codes to websites where you have equity stored? No. Leaving your data un-encrypted would be doing just that. Any system that connects to your Cloud that either uploads or downloads sensitive information should store said data on encrypted drives. Even better, said data could be stored on USB drives and burned on dvd/cd and stored in a secure location that is not constantly connected online.
Defend Against Ransomware
When ransomware hits, it is an IT nightmare. Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to publish the victim's data and/or block access to it unless a ransom is paid. Keeping a backup of your data in a different location is your best safety method. You should always keep a backup of your data off of any computer system. As previously stated, USB drives, external hard drives and dvd/cd’s are a great option to keeping this data safe and secure.
Keyloggers, viruses, and other types of malware on your local computer that uploads and downloads sensitive information from the Cloud can also be a nightmare, with hackers gaining crucial information that can lead to disaster. Always ensure that your local computer has antivirus and anti-malware software and scan your system regularly. You should also use virtual private networks (VPNs) and secure socket layer/transport layer security (SSL/TLS). This helps to ensure that your connection to the internet is not exposed when you are working with your sensitive data that passes from one system to another. A VPN ensures that your connection is private and it keeps your online activity, including but not limited to, your IP address and device information anonymous. If you are using a public network such as a library or even a public wi-fi, you should always use VPNs to access computers or networks remotely.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is getting more popular. Everything from accessing your bank, your email address, your credit cards online etc are now using this feature more and more. MFA recognizes that there is no perfect “single way” to securely access data. Thus, for example, it sets up a second or even third way to supplement your login password with a second or even third way to login. An example could be sending you a text message to your phone with a code that you have to enter or it could require a fingerprint, voice recognition or even retinal scan. The use of multi-factor authentication may require more steps to access your online data, but it is a great way to further safeguard your sensitive information.
Using Real Passwords
Stop using lazy passwords such as !P@55w0rd!99. You need to be serious when it comes to ensuring that you are using a password that is very difficult to hack. Use numbers, letters, symbols and have your password length at least 10 characters long. Do not use anything that even a family member could guess, such as pet names, middle names, nicknames etc along with birth dates etc. Keep your password complicated. You should also change your password at least every 30 to 180 days. Constantly changing your password will ensure that your sensitive data will be secure.
Keeping your sensitive data is secure both online as well as offline is crucial. The above guide will help you take the necessary steps to ensure that your data will be safe. If you have any questions or concerns or you would like further assistance, please contact us today. Let us help you take the correct measures to ensure that your sensitive data is secure.