3 Tips for Keeping Data Safe in the Cloud (Infographic) The recent hack of a journalist illustrates how security needs to be a top priority for businesses that manage data online.

By Jason Fell

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

3 Tips for Keeping Data Safe in the CloudMore businesses are relying on cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Apple's iCloud to store, process and share their important documents. It can be a convenient and cost-effective alternative to managing tons of data in-house. But the recent hack of a journalist illustrates how working in the cloud also comes with risks.

Wired writer Mat Honan effectively had his digital life erased. Hackers tapped into his Apple iCloud account and deleted his email and social media accounts, as well as all the data on his mobile devices.

As a business owner, when you hand all of your firm's most critical files over to another company to manage, you have to wonder how secure they will be. Are your remote employees sharing them appropriately? Will your data wind up in the hands of hackers or competitors?

There are steps businesses can take to mitigate those risks. Anthony Kennada, a senior manager of cloud products at Mountain View, Calif.-based security company Symantec, offers three tips for keeping important business documents safe in the cloud:

Related: How Cloud Computing Saved My Business1. Lock down access to your data.While most cloud vendors have standardized their approach to security, it's important for individual businesses to discuss who has access to their files and when they can access them.

"IT should press vendors on how their data is protected at all layers," Kennada says. "How are encryption keys managed? Are the right controls in place to prevent employees at the vendor site from unauthorized access?"2. Keep corporate and personal information separate.
As more companies are allowing their employees to bring their own devices to work, more are using those devices for work duties -- including accessing documents in the cloud. Business data on personal devices raises red flags for IT managers if those devices are lost or stolen.

"In order to avoid this, Kennada says, "IT needs clear visibility into corporate data stored on personal devices and the ability to easily revoke access to that data when appropriate."

3. Make sure to back up your files.
File syncing -- by which files in two or more locations are updated -- is not as effective as backing up your files on a separate external device. What happened to Honan drive that point home.

"Although most file-sharing vendors enable access to content from any device, it is clear that they're not immune to clever [hackers]," Kennada says. Businesses should focus on both file sharing and backup solutions in order to hedge against something similar happening to them, he says.

Related: Why Google Drive Won't Be a Dropbox Killer

3 Tips for Keeping Data Safe in the Cloud
Jason Fell

VP, Native Content

Jason Fell is the VP of Native Content, managing the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners. He previously served as Entrepreneur.com's managing editor and as the technology editor prior to that.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

Former Pediatrics Professor Donates $1 Billion, Makes Albert Einstein College of Medicine Tuition-Free

Dr. Ruth Gottesman's husband left her $1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock with the following instructions: "Do whatever you think is right with it."

Business News

'Next Tesla' Electric Car Startups Hit Speed Bump: 'Investors Want To See Demand'

Electric vehicle companies large and small, from Ford to Tesla to Rivian, are dealing with cooler-than-expected demand for EVs.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Starting a Business

Long-Lost Sisters Who Built the Largest Black-Owned Wine Company in the U.S. Reveal How to Break Into a Notoriously Tough Industry

Andréa and Robin McBride followed their shared love of wine into business — but it hasn't always been easy.