Data encryption is critical for securing business data.

3 Key Components of Data Protection in the Cloud

Organizations utilize the cloud to store vital business data, such as customer account information, confidential company documents and financials, proprietary databases, and more.

Many people assume that just because their data is tucked away in the cloud, it’s completely safe from being stolen.

Not necessarily.

Sensitive information stored in the cloud is just as much at risk of theft if not properly protected. And the repercussions aren’t cheap, either – the average total cost of a data breach is estimated to be $3.62 million.

Still, there’s no need to be afraid.

With these 3 key components of cloud data protection, your organization will be safe and sound against cyberthreats.

1. Data Encryption

Transit between you and the cloud can be treacherous for any data. Between destinations, the passage of data is subject to rerouting and possible hijacking by cybercriminals, who can then tap into your data as they please.

Therefore, it’s vital to use secure data-in-motion encryption practices. That includes creating email gateways that leverage transport layer security (TLS) and utilizing sites with 128-bit encryption.

Related: The Cost Reduction Benefits of the Cloud

Simply put, data encryption adds a digital lock on the in-motion file. Only the intended user has the ability to unlock it with a decryption key (which looks a whole lot like a randomly generated password).

Encryption shouldn’t be exclusive to data in motion. Data-at-rest encryption is equally important to avoiding break-in cyberattacks, but it’s less worrisome – many cloud providers already employ a form of it, so make sure to read the fine print to see if your vendors are keeping your data fully protected.

2. Proper Password Protection

All the cloud data encryption in the world can’t stop someone that knows your password. You would think, in this modern era of next-gen cyberthreats and malware, that people would understand the importance of choosing a proper password.

And yet for the fourth consecutive year, “123456” and “password” topped the list of leaked passwords.

Keeping separate and long passwords is the key to staying secure in the cloud. Each different password should be a healthy mix of letters, numbers, and special symbols.

If you’re having a hard time remembering these passwords, try getting a password manager that stores, organizes and encrypts your passwords for you.

Related: Why You Should Limit Privileges

There’s another yet ingredient to the perfect password checklist: multi-factor authentication (MFA). Simply put, that means using services that require two or more actions before allowing entry.

MFA greatly reduces incidents of data theft. Examples of MFA include:

  • Swiping a debit card and entering a PIN
  • Entering a password and answering a security question
  • Using voice authentication, retinal scans, and fingerprint scans to enter your secret lair

3. Proactive Cloud Backups

You can’t always prevent data loss. Disasters may strike regardless of how well you’ve prepped for them. Some poor intern will always be around to accidentally unplug a server or ten.

In these scenarios, data backups are the key to survival and success.

When it comes to data protection, regular cloud backups are extremely useful because they allow you to recover and restore your files from anywhere with an internet connection.

Related: 3 Reasons to Test Your Backups

Yes, your data may be compromised and unusable in your regular operating environment… but you’re still able to recover and restore operations in the blink of an eye from your backup source.