Send it to the Cloud
Cloud computing is evolving at a rapid rate. Our transition into the digital world has brought with it a massive increase in data. This has made us more aware of the limitations of our existing IT infrastructure and look at new ways of storing all our information.
The move to cloud has transformed how businesses store and process data and has provided a much more scalable and reliable IT Infrastructure that enables companies to streamline business performance.
Cloud based services offer a great deal of flexibility. In addition to unlimited bandwidth and storage space, businesses are able to remotely access data, anywhere, any time, from any web-enabled device.
This improves collaboration within the workplace as it makes it much quicker and easier for employees working in different locations to access information and communicate with other members of staff.
The move to cloud also enables businesses to make significant cost savings. Cloud storage is generally more affordable as it eliminates the cost of hardware and maintenance and distributes the cost of infrastructure and services.
As cloud computing grows in popularity it is important to know exactly how it operates and what the best practices are to make sure our data is safe and secure. It is also vital to choose the right cloud service provider to ensure long term success.
When selecting a cloud service provider, you must consider the following:
1) Support: How easy is it to get help? Can I contact them directly via phone or email?
2) Simplicity: How easy is it to use the service? A cloud service provider should be easy to understand, configure and use.
3) Security: How will your data get from your computer to the cloud? Is the connection secured by encryption? How is your data stored once transferred?
4) Terms of Service: Review the terms of service and confirm who can access your data and what your legal rights are.
Staying Secure in the Cloud
Choosing the right cloud service provider is just the first step. The most important step following this is to ensure you are using the function properly and ensuring all your data is secure.
The security of cloud services remains a top concern for many organisations, however security breaches are very rare. More often than not, accessing and sharing your own data files can be what causes a security threat. Here are some simple rules to follow:
1) Authentication: Use a strong and unique password to authenticate your cloud account. If your cloud provider offers a two-step verification process, it’s highly recommended that you enable it to add an extra layer of security to your account.
2) Sharing files/folders: Sharing files and folders should be simple when using a cloud service provider however mistakes can be made. Make sure that your provider offers an easy way to track who has access to your files and folders as well as a user-friendly option of removing people who no longer need access to your files.
3) Sharing files/folders using web links: Many cloud service providers allow you to create web links to your files and folders. This feature means you can share files with anyone by simply providing a web link. Anybody with access to that link could share it with others, or alternatively, it could show up on search engines. Therefore, it’s vital that you disable any links that are no longer needed. To be even more secure, you should protect any links with passwords where possible.
4) Settings: Always make sure you understand the security settings. For example, if you share a folder with someone else, can they share your data without your knowledge?
5) Antivirus: Always ensure you have the latest version of your antivirus software and that it’s installed on your computer and any other devices that you might use. Sharing infected files could in turn infect these devices.
6) Backup: Most cloud providers will back up your data however it’s beneficial to make regular backups of your own. This protects you should anything go wrong with your cloud provider and makes it easier to recover large quantities of data from a local backup as opposed to retrieving it from the cloud. It’s also important to know how often your cloud provider backs up your files and how long these back ups will be available for.