Every day we hear stories of accounts being hacked. From email and social media accounts to credit card information obtained from major retailers, it’s no wonder cloud security is a hot topic.
So, how can you be sure that your application will be secure in the cloud? This is a question we are asked all the time here at SOLTECH. We understand your concern and why you may be worried about cloud security. However, if you take the right precautions, then yes, your app will be secure in the cloud. If you don’t, you run the risk of a breach and your app being on the nightly news.
The fact that you’re asking the question is a good thing, because security is all about awareness of the risks you’re taking.
To draw a parallel, if you drive an expensive car, you’re probably aware that it’s at higher risk of being burglarized. You’re likely conscientious about where you park it and making sure it is locked. You also know to not leave any valuables in plain sight inside it.
Having an app in the cloud is like parking your car in a high-crime neighborhood. There are criminals and pranksters all over the internet that will take advantage of whatever opportunities they can find.
If you have to park your car somewhere dangerous, you ought to take precautions to keep it secure. And the more expensive the car, the more motivated the criminals are to break in, so you’ll need to take more precautions to secure it.
Securing Your Application, Data and Servers
Securing your app in the cloud is the same thing as securing your car. You have to assess how valuable your stuff is to a criminal or prankster.
This includes not just your app, but your servers and your data as well. If your app hosts information about your chain of car repair shops with news about ongoing promotions, that’s not nearly as valuable to hackers as a site that holds credit card information or personal health data.
The more valuable your data, the more precautions you should take.
Tips For Protecting Your Application in the Cloud
Here are some precautions you should consider to secure your app in the cloud:
Creating Strong Passwords
A strong password should be used for anything valuable. This includes your hosting account, servers, and administrative access to your application itself. Also consider using a strong password for your email account as well, as it’s typically used to sign into hosting accounts, and to reset passwords.
Strong passwords use both upper case and lower case letters as well as numbers. Special characters (punctuation, etc.) are not necessary if your password is long enough. A strong password should be at least fifteen characters long, but longer is better
Using Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
Multifactor authentication — also called two-factor authentication or two-step verification — involves a layer of security in addition to a password. It can take many forms, including of a smartphone app which generates a new number every 60 seconds, a code sent to your cell phone, or a USB device you plug into your computer.
Logging in to your hosting account or your own app consists of providing both a password and an additional piece of information from your smartphone or USB device.
This can be a very simple yet effective security measure, as it’s highly unlikely that someone will have both your password and your multifactor authentication device. And without both, they can’t log in.
What Should I Backup and How Often?
What should you backup? Everything. Backup your servers, your data, your application code – backup everything you want to keep, because nothing is indestructible.
In addition, back up often. How often? Daily. While it may seem like a lot of work to do daily backups, it is absolutely worth the extra effort in order to prevent issues down the road.
Accounts and servers can get hacked; hard drives fail; databases crash. Backups will help you recover from these disasters.
Whenever possible, backups should be held off-site, separate from what they are a copy of. For servers in your office, this means storing the backups in another geographic location. For servers under a hosting account, this means copying the backups to another account.
Disasters can hit both physical servers in your office as well as servers virtualized in the cloud. Whether it’s fire, electrical storm, or online hacking that you’re trying to protect against, you need to move your backups to a separate, isolated location.
Cloud security is not to be taken lightly. With the proper precautions per the suggestions above, you will lower your risks of breaches.
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