The ability to access company data from any internet-connected device enables American businesses to enjoy remote working setups during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this convenience also makes it easy for cybercriminals to access your sensitive files using any device, even those they may have stolen from you or your staff.
To better secure your cloud storage, implement the following tips:
Be aware of what’s going on in your cloud account
Switch on notifications for sign-ins to new devices, file shares and alterations, folder deletion, and other significant cloud activity. Additionally, make it a habit to check in on activity in sensitive folders. For instance, on Google Drive, you can go to My Drive, then click the Info (ⓘ) button at the top right corner of the page, then Activity to review what has been happening in that folder.
Check which apps have access to your cloud storage
While letting email, chat, and calendar apps have access to your cloud storage makes life easier, it also makes your cloud accounts more vulnerable to infiltration. To minimize this risk, limit the number of apps you grant access to. Check your account for connected apps, see which ones you don’t use regularly, and deactivate their access to your cloud. You can always reactivate it later on, anyway.
Augment strong passwords with multifactor authentication (MFA)
In addition to using unique and sufficiently long passwords that are hard to guess, protect your cloud accounts with MFA. This is because you may make the mistake of opening phishing emails, clicking a link to a fake login page, and unwittingly providing fraudsters with your access credentials.
With MFA, your accounts have an additional layer of security, such as a one-time passcode sent to your mobile phone or a fingerprint scan. These are things that you have or are unique to you that are very hard for hackers to steal.
If you receive a one-time passcode but you didn’t initiate a login, report this incident to your admin and change your account credentials immediately. When you do so, use a device you don’t normally use, just in case a keylogger has infected your computer or smartphone.
Limit and audit file sharing
Sharing cloud-based files is as easy as sending links to colleagues, but this could also mean trouble. If an unauthorized user gets ahold of those links or hijacks the account of the person you’ve shared the links with, your private data may get compromised. To reduce the exposure of your sensitive files, do the following:
Avoid using the “Anyone on the internet with this link” permission option. Instead, provide permission by person or team.
If possible, require passwords for and/or impose access expiration dates on the links to your files.
If expiration dates are not possible, create a copy of what you want to share with your colleagues, then manually delete that copy once the time limit has elapsed.
It’s also good practice to check whom your files have been shared with, especially for files that contain sensitive data.
Make sure that the files you want gone are unrecoverable
It is standard practice for cloud storage services to hold deleted files for a limited amount of time, just in case you deleted a file by mistake. However, for sensitive files that you no longer wish to keep, use the “erase beyond recovery” or a similar option.
Decommission old devices
When giving an old device to somebody else, that person may get to have easy access to your cloud-based apps unless you sever such access. Doing so is easy enough: just sign out from the apps before uninstalling them. Some cloud platforms such as Microsoft 365 allow you to remotely disassociate devices from your account.
In addition to signing out from your apps, you must also open the web browsers you’ve used to access your cloud-based accounts and sign out from there.
Sign out from your account when you’re not using it
This is a particularly important protocol for remote workers who share their devices with family members. It may be inconvenient to always sign in and out, but the security of your files is more than worth the hassle.
Businesses rely on SimplyClouds for top-notch cloud services and security. To learn more about how your business can leverage the cloud, contact us today.