Securing your data in the cyberattack era


 With the growth of cloud-based technology, the world has seen a correlation in growth of cloud-based data storage. This trend only makes sense: storing data that correlates with the platforms those data correlate with makes logical sense, and removing the need for infrastructure of businesses and end-users makes financial sense. A little preparation can go a long way in ensuring you set yourself up for success with information security.


Unfortunately, a major problem with adoption of cloud-based technology and cloud-based storage is the possibility of data breaches. For end-users, the consequences of data breaches can include horrible circumstances such as financial credentials stolen and utilized. Personally identifiable information, or PII, can be used to outright hijack identities.


The situation described above is a nasty situation for individuals, and no less worse for businesses. Businesses that collect private and personal data from their customers or clients can be subject to nasty fines at worst, and brand image damage at best. Many businesses now see value in insurance specifically designed to protect against data breaches or outsourcing their cloud-based data elsewhere from virtual data room providers.


However, with the cost of server infrastructure and an information technology team competent enough to rival those of cloud-based data professionals, you’d easily obtain a new winner for the prize of ‘highest budget allocation.’ Since the feasibility of going ‘off the cloud’ is only decreasing with time, a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to preparing to fight against, and mitigating the effects of, data breaches are essential in modern planning.


Leveraging adequate legal protection can ensure that your losses are minimized in the event of a data breach. A properly worded and comprehensive end user licensing agreement can provide you a legally binding agreement that protects you from numerous events that are common themes in the digital world.

An example of a common theme described in the above paragraph is password complexity. Generally, you should create passwords (or, as a business, password requirements) that are a bit more complex than ‘password’ or ‘123456.’ However, nobody likes to create passwords that require numbers, letters, special characters, in a specific order, with the blood of a unicorn. What’s a good middle ground? Require passwords that are at least above average in complexity as a business. As an end-user, it is a good practice to utilize a different password for each item and store these passwords in a secure password management service.


How secure is your data in the cloud? There are a ton of variables that affect the level of security rendered by cloud based data. Most cloud-based data storage, particularly of big name companies and apps such as Google Drive, leverage data encryption. However, data encryption can be cracked. Whether or not your files are encrypted on the cloud is moot if a hacker obtains your password, authorizing you access (and subsequent decryption of your files.) However, this level of security is highly relevant if Google Drive itself was ever breached: in simple technological terms, a breach of the Google Drive servers would require a subsequent decryption of individual Google Drive user accounts.

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