Data leakage is a complex challenge for companies today. Being able to work remotely and share files is essential for the day-to-day functions of many organisations. Cloud computing has many benefits for your organisation and allows for diversity in collaboration methods including the ease in which files are shared. However, with the increase in cloud computing also comes an increased risk for your organisation. Read more about ways to reduce risk when migrating to the cloud.
The largest and most critical threat cloud computing poses for organisations today, is the loss of sensitive and personal data and information - both deliberately and inadvertently. And, remember, cloud data breaches are on the rise because many organisations don’t leverage best practices. Don’t let this happen to your organisation - be proactive and prevent them in the first instance!
Why does this happen?
Cloud computing can make life easier and organisations more agile. However, they can also pose a major problem when it comes to your data security. In order to better understand your data, you need to understand how your data can leak in the first place.
The risk of data leakage increases as more employees use their personal devices for work without a strict and robust security policy in place. When employees use these devices to access storage services (like Dropbox or OneDrive) to work from home or on the train, there is an increased risk for a security breach, especially when older versions of operating systems are used. This potential risk is not entirely mitigated by company-supplied IT devices either, as connections to unsecured networks can easily lead to a data hack.
Another way in which sensitive data can be leaked is due to an inadvertent human error. Storing passwords and sensitive personal data in a plain text file or on memory sticks can mean it’s susceptible if the wrong person gets their hands on it.
Strategies to avoid data leakage
This should be step one and truly is essential. Encrypting data means a specific encryption key is needed to read the data stored in your cloud. Data should not be on the cloud without being encrypted, which protects the data that is being used in cloud storage as well as sensitive data in transit. Also, ensure the connection you are using is secure/encrypted, be careful of free wifi hotspots!
Be smarter about the passwords used, where you store them and the frequency in which they are changed. Shoot for longer phrased passwords, choosing a mix between uppercase, lowercase and number of characters. Think about investing in a password program to store all your passwords in a safe and secure place. And remember, never use the same username or password for everything!
Train your Staff
Staff training is essential to stopping the inadvertent leak of sensitive data and information. Bolster your staff training efforts to make sure they know how to decipher a phishing email or phone call, how to generate the strongest passwords and make sure they ditch the old spreadsheet that stores all their passwords!
Not all of your organisations’ employees need access to the same level of sensitive data. Permissions should be on a need-to-know basis to avoid any information being accessed by the wrong people. Setting document sharing as ‘viewer’ rather than ‘editor’ is a good idea too. Setting permissions is easy to do through your IT department and can be easily tracked and maintained as long as you stay on top of personnel changes. Make sure access is immediately taken away from any employees no longer with your organisation.
We understand the risk cloud computing can pose and are here to help you protect your organisation’s sensitive data and keep important information from leaking. Read more about how to reduce risk to your organisation when migrating to the cloud. If your organisation is in need of cloud support contact us today!