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Six Steps to Protecting Sensitive Data in the Cloud

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You understand the importance of protecting sensitive and proprietary data. You’re careful to choose cloud vendors with strong security controls. But is your own use of cloud services giving bad actors an opening to breach your protections?  

It sure is. At least according to Gartner, which projects that through 2025, 90% of the organizations that neglect to control their use of public cloud will share sensitive data inappropriately. Don’t be among them! Follow these six strategies to make sure you aren’t the weakest link in your cloud security stance:   

  1. Know where your provider’s security responsibilities end and yours begin. Read your contract and take steps to cover the security gaps your vendor doesn’t.   
  2. Use identity and access management tools regularly. They don’t work if you don’t! Removing old accounts, enforcing role-based access, and requiring strong passwords and multi-factor authentication helps prevent both accidental and deliberate security breaches. 
  3. Check cloud configurations frequently. Review and monitor access restrictions, access logs, and data protection settings to make sure they aren’t exposed and haven’t been changed without authorization. 
  4. Inventory cloud data. Keep careful track of what’s stored where, who has access to it, and how it’s used. Remove data you never use, secure the data you do use, and encrypt the data you’re not using now but might need in the future.   
  5. Educate users about cybersecurity. Ongoing employee training, written guidelines for cloud use, and frequent updates on emerging risks will help you prevent problems instead of fixing them after the fact. 
  6. Reduce complexities. The more cloud storage and other cloud solutions you use, the more security risks you’re exposed to. Consolidating vendors and services helps to simplify configurations and minimize attack surfaces while still supporting remote work and other needs. 

If this seems overwhelming, talk to us about outsourcing your security, your infrastructure management or your entire IT infrastructure. We’ll help you develop an affordable, secure strategy for making the most of cloud services.