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3 Ways to Stay Secure When Using the Cloud

Posted March 30, 2016by Matt Mainhart

Last month, I wrote a blog post about how to better understand the cloud, what it is and what it does. This time, I'm covering how your clients can stay secure once they move to the cloud. Having the ability to connect from anywhere certainly has its advantages, but only if potential security risks are managed and thwarted. Do your clients know how to keep themselves and their company data safe in the cloud? Share these useful tips to help ease their transition and demonstrate your authority as their strategic business advisor! 

1. Don’t Be Silly with Passwords

Think of your password like a padlock on your storage locker. Are you going to use some cardboard, bubblegum and pocket lint to MacGyver something ridiculous to secure that information? Or are you going to borrow from Fort Knox and lock that down? Passwords like your birthday, “12345” or “Password1” are no good. The Wall Street Journal recently published a list of the most used passwords, and it is scary. If you have a password that is on this list, change it. The hackers and bad guys are going to try this first. And, I mean, think about it – this list of passwords is out there for everyone to see! Kind of scary that this kind of data is published. Don’t be silly, and use the following as a set of best practices in password creation:

Don’t Recycle

Recycle your cans and bottles for sure, but not passwords. Do not use the same one if you can help it. When asked to change your password, do not use the same password, and just add a “1” or another letter or symbol at the end. 

Be Strong

Not with your bench press, but with your password creation. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. And don’t be mad about it. Do you want your information safe and secure, or do you want it in the hands of unauthorized people? Microsoft has a helpful set of password creation standards you can check out for extended reading.

K.I.S.S. Your Passwords, But Not Too Much

Ew, weird, right? But the KISS method is something that I learned back when my grandpa was still around. It stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” Just don’t be too simple with passwords. For example, the password “ourhouse” is awful. The password “0uRH0u$3,” however, might be acceptable. BONUS PROTIP – don’t use that password, since it will now be published online in this blog post.


2. Watch Your Network

It is so convenient to link up nowadays. Just pull up to the nearest Starbucks, order a Green Matcha Tea Latte (steamed, with coconut milk – you won’t be disappointed), break out the laptop, hook up to the Wi-Fi and get some work done. But first, run a background check on the others who are on the Wi-Fi. You may want to collect three references and their credit scores as well. In all seriousness, how much do you know about the people you are sharing that PUBLIC network with. Jumping to their Wi-Fi to Google for “what the heck is Matcha green tea” from your phone is probably not a big deal. But hooking up to the Wi-Fi on your work laptop and accessing company records? Think twice.


3. Keep in Touch With IT

Consult your IT provider to talk about when and where to securely access company files while working outside the office. Ask how your data is being backed up, and if and how it will be encrypted. If none of these solutions are in place, then you and your IT person should have a talk about implementing them into your business model. Working from anywhere on the planet is pretty awesome, just be sure that you do it the right way.

Trust and do not be afraid of cloud technology. By implementing cloud solutions, businesses like yours have moved CAPEX costs (computer hardware) to OPEX costs (just paying a subscription for cloud services, and not for hardware). Over time, the decrease in CAPEX coupled with the ability to work from anywhere will hopefully pay for itself – and help grow your business.


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Previously one of the main trainers on our white label IT Help Desk, Matt holds a CompTIA Executive Certificate in Channel Management, as well as CompTIA A+, CompTIA Cloud Essentials, HDI Service Center Team Lead and Six Sigma Green Belt Certifications.

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