6 Safety Tips for Protecting Your Data in the Cloud

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90 percent of IT managers are planning to increase cloud computing.

When it comes to storing data these days, everything’s up in the air – or at least in the cloud.

And it’s about to get more crowded up there.

More than two-thirds of IT managers say their companies (not just law firms) plan to move most of their data to cloud storage in the next year, according to a recent survey conducted by O’Reilly Media. One in four plan to move all of their data there. And 90 percent plan to beef up their cloud-computing capabilities.

“The survey also finds that the move to all-cloud environments isn’t just something for smaller companies that lack large IT departments, either,” according to tech writer Joe McKendrick for ZDnet. “Seventeen percent of respondents from large organizations (over 10,000 employees) have already moved 100 percent of their applications to the cloud.”

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Here are some highlights from the O’Reilly survey, authored by Roger Magoulas and Steve Swoyer:

  • 88 percent of respondents use the cloud in one form or another. Most respondent organizations plan to increase their usage over the next 12 months.
  • Public cloud dominates, but most organizations use a mix of cloud options.
  • Forty-nine percent run applications in traditional, on-premises contexts.
  • More than half (49 percent) use multiple cloud providers. Two-thirds use Amazon Web Services (AWS); 48 percent use Microsoft Azure, and 32 percent use Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Know the Risks of Cloud Data Storage
There are risks and vulnerabilities to cloud computing. Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has analyzed and documented some of the most significant security issues. These include: users ceding control to the cloud service provider; increased risk of malware infections or data exfiltration; data might not be completely deleted because it is spread out across the cloud.

“The number one best practice in cloud safety is to maintain due diligence,” writes Natalie Boyd for SDX Central. “Remain informed on the latest security issues and strategies.”

Here are some other tips for safe cloud networking that Boyd recommends:

  • Double check that your cloud service provider encrypts data.
  • Use two-step authentication to log into important accounts.
  • Routinely monitor workspaces.
  • Know and understand your service provider’s terms of compliance.
  • Limit access to the cloud-stored data.
  • Back up all data.

Does your firm use cloud computing? What safety tips would you suggest?

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