Cloud Security – A Brief Introduction

Cloud Security

 

It’s not a matter of if we get hacked, it’s a matter of when we get hacked.  — Anonymous CSO Quote

Cybercrime is a topic that is in the news more and more as our lives are now played out and stored in the digital world.  As companies collect vast amounts of data while running their business, read more about what you can personally do to increase your cloud security.

Databases

We have heard the term database and basically this is a repository for information that companies collect about their customers, vendors and other business related data.  Any companies that collects your information is likely putting all that data into a large database and examples of information they store will include your name, birth date, phone number, email, address information, and likely credit card information.

Even if you don’t use your credit card or sign up on a website, this data will still be stored digitally on a server at a company where you do business and cloud security is something that should be considered.

The Cloud

The cloud is just a nice marketing term for computers and the data that is on them that are on the Internet.  The Internet is a collection of networks and electronic devices that talk to each other.  So when you are surfing the web on your computer, tablet or your phone, you are essentially getting information from a web server that is feeding you formatted data on your browser.

This data likely comes from a database that is tied to other computers and all brought to you via the Internet.  Behind the scenes, computers also talk to other computers through what is known as application to application interfaces and includes things like web services, EDI, FTP, and other automated processes.

These again are hitting servers connected via the Internet and corresponding programs that tap into databases which allows for sharing of information that is requested with other applications.  All of this interaction with data happens “in the cloud” through the vast connection of computers and servers that are on The Internet. This is where cloud security comes into play.

Cloud Security

Hacker avoided with Cloud SecurityMost of the data that is passed around on the Internet is unsecured, meaning it goes from one computer to the next “in the clear”.  A prime example of this is email, which by default is unsecured, which is sent as a series of packets of data that anyone who can gain access to any of the points where it travels could ultimately read what is contained in that email.

Cloud security starts with understanding what is being transmitted without being encrypted and, if it is sensitive data, you should find a more secure way to send that data with services like secure email or secure file transfer services like The TriggerBox. TheTriggerBox Download for Free

Device Security

Where you are accessing the Internet is the first point where your data is unsecured and at risk.  If you are surfing at home, be sure your wifi is protected as hackers can gain access to your network and your data if you don’t take this step.

If you are surfing at a coffee shop, be very aware of the sites you are visiting and what data you are entering on a website because hackers can view data that is being transmitted on the same network.  Finally, it is a good idea to have the latest antivirus and malware software installed on your PC so that you can prevent websites or other unwanted malware from getting data while you are surfing on the Internet – this will improve your cloud security.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

While you visit websites in the cloud, data is traveling to and from your device with another computer on the Internet.  Along the way it might pass through various network routers and other pathways which could be vulnerable to hackers.  If you are on a site that requires sensitive personal information always look for a valid SSL certificate on your browser so that you can ensure the data being transmitted between you and the Internet server is secure. By connected via SSL, your cloud security is greatly enhanced.

SSL Example for Cloud Security

Data Encryption

As discussed earlier the data that you enter on a website is ultimately stored in a database.  These databases are a typical target for hackers as they contain a gold mine of information all at once and can include vital things like credit card numbers and social security numbers.

While you have no control over what a company does with your data after they collect it, there are some compliance agencies that monitor this for you.  For instance, PCI compliance requires a company to encrypt (basically scramble) credit card and other personal data that sits in a database so that if a hacker were to get it they couldn’t read it.  Another precaution you can take for added cloud security is to make sure the company you are doing business with is PCI Compliant.

Securing Digital Data with The TriggerBox

Consider The TriggerBox as a secure alternative to emailing information or sharing important files via unsecured services like DropBox.  The TriggerBox allows you to securely upload and deliver digital contents to friends, family or colleagues utilizing unique triggers with enhanced cloud security.

The data that is transmitted from your device is protected with an SSL certificate and once that data reaches our server it is encrypted and stored securely so that even we cannot view it.  Finally, your digital data won’t be opened and viewed (even by you) until the box is triggered and the people who receive the contents open the box.  If you would like to learn more about The TriggerBox, watch our short video.

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We hope you enjoy our blog, we share tips about lifestyle improvement, estate planning, travel, technology and organizing your digital life. Our flagship product, The TriggerBox, allows you to quickly and safely deliver documents online with our unique triggers.

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