Top 10 Tips for Top Notch Security with Cloud and Host Providers
Top 10 Tips for Top Notch Security with Cloud and Host Providers

Hackers techniques are evolving so it is highly essential to manage cloud security needs irrespective of the fact that you are using hosted physical or virtual servers. Here are top 10 tips for top notch security with cloud and host providers.

1. Two Factor Authentication and Password Strength

Your minimum password strength should be at least eight characters with a mix of case sensitive, numerals and special characters. If your service provider permits it, it would be advisable to use two-factor authentication for all user access to cloud services and data. Regular revision of passwords and enforcement of uniqueness as much as possible on your local networks, may also be helpful.

Make sure not to reuse an old password, and to not use the same password for multiple sites. Password managers can help carry the burden of remembering your different passwords.

2. Activate Data Encryption

Encryption can be activated for the data stored in the cloud in two ways. Your data can be locally encrypted by your service provider i.e. it can be encrypted as it is stored on cloud. Often cloud hosting vendors in Dubai may also offer data encryption as it is transferred to the cloud. The downside of this is that encryption may increase the time required to send and retrieve data.

There are services which use hybrid hardware-software-cloud approach that employs locally set up devices to manage encryption and data transfer. There is also the possibility of encrypting data locally before it is transferred it to the cloud, though this additional measure may require direct user interaction.

If your business deals with highly confidential information, you can even consider data encryption before moving it to an encrypted cloud.

3. Backup Is Never Enough

Resorting to cloud or other web hosting service in UAE does not exempt you from backing up your data. Hence clearly expressed contracting for backup services is necessary to have your data protected. Data replication to numerous locations, while allowing seamless operations in the case of primary site failure, is still not the same as data backup.

For vital corporate data, it is advisable to consider maintaining a local copy as well, especially if disaster recovery or business continuity services are not part of the contract.

4. Set Up Comprehensive User Policies for Employees and Collaborators.

With cloud technology access becoming seamless from almost any location it is highly essential to put in place strict policies to control the when and where of access control. These policies should encompass policies regarding users leaving their computers unsecure and logged into cloud services, or those using unsecured public WIFI when not in office.

User awareness is critical in keeping corporate information secure.

5. Safeguard All Communications with the Dedicated or Virtual Server Hosting

Implement secure communication protocols that are backed by your service provider. In case of failure in encrypted communication the default for some services would be to rely on unencrypted communication.

6. Monitor Mobile Access to Your Back end and Employee-Oriented Services

No cloud service is immune from security breaches when it can be easily compromised by lax BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies. Before providing mobile access to cloud resources ensure that those devices are locked down and can be wiped off remotely if the need arises.

Also make sure any device authorized to run cloud applications from mobile is controlled and managed by the IT department.

7. Know Your Data Location

In today’s mobile world, data is always on the move. It may be on the cloud, or employee devices or in some unsecured location where it can be copied on to a USB device or emailed outside the secure domain. Hence it is critical to know your company’s data lifecycle management process, and where does the cloud services come into the picture. The data that is no longer considered active should be archived or deleted or make sure it is safe.

8. Have a Clear Understanding About the Service Contracts from Your Service Providers

Before finalizing the contract read the fine print. You should ensure that there is no room for misunderstanding and the responsibility on each side is clearly spelt out. Thus, reducing the chance for a data breach.

9. Always Test as Much as Possible

There is no reason to be confident that data will be secure just because a server or database is in the cloud. With the help of your service provider you should perform continuous assessment of the security of the cloud service in the same way as you secure your local resources. A few testing efforts like the security scanning, vulnerability assessment and penetration testing will give you confidence in your cloud security or notify you on issues that needs immediate attention.

10. Never Presume

Information security is always your responsibility and not your service providers-no matter what service you use, be it cloud service, hosted dedicated or virtual server, or your own on-premises servers and networks.