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How to Protect Your Cloud Data from Hackers

4 Jan., 2018

Sensitive customer information stored in cloud applications is highly vulnerable to attacks from malicious outsiders. Protect your cloud data from hackers with some of these tips.

More businesses are storing their customer records online. Why keep things in a musty old paper filing cabinet, when you can access and organize all that data digitally on the cloud? With a cloud-based customer data management service, a user can access the same important information anywhere in the world so long as they have a mobile phone, laptop, or similar device. It’s unifying, and, undoubtedly, more convenient. But there’s a price for all that ease: susceptibility to hacking.

As the recent Time Warner and Verizon breaches show, confidential customer information is not impervious to attacks from malicious outsiders. And, companies like Equifax are leaving extremely sensitive personally identifiable information like Social Security numbers wide open to attack. Don’t be an Equifax. Protect your Salesforce cloud data from hackers and consider the following advice:

Catalog that cloud data. How can you know what data to protect if you don’t know where it is? What it is? And how you store it? Do you know how it’s transferred or if employees can access it from home or from their own personal devices? Once you identify the kind of data you plan to put into the cloud, you must decide if it’s risk averse. Then, figure out a suitable security policy to protect that data.

Backup, backup, backup. It’s the oldest computer-age adage there is: save, and save often. The true is same for cloud data. If you want to protect it from hackers, you’ll want to back it up as often as possible. If any Account records, emails, or files get deleted or lost, either by hackers, employee error, or service interruptions, at least you’ll have some spares lying around. And that’s better than nothing.

Educate employees. Hackers can enter a system through any department, from HR to sales, so it helps to educate every employee with access to cloud data about potential risks and best practices. Salesforce for example provides several useful tips everyone should follow, including email validation, enabling two-factor authentication, and using a VPN when connected to public Wi-Fi. Definitely beware of email from unknown senders; phishing attacks are another sneaky way for hackers to gain unlawful access to cloud data.

Encrypt that cloud data. With the right encryption measures in place, there is little hackers can do even if they get your cloud data in their clutches. You know how bank vaults pack bags of money with exploding paint (at least that’s how it works in the movies)? The same basic concept applies to encryption. Software solutions like eperi Gateway can provide encryption and tokenization of cloud data, which will render all sensitive information unreadable to unauthorized users.

 

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