One of the benefits of ubiquitous internet connectivity has been the rise of cloud services. From an experience that revolved around locally hosted data, a large proportion of our activities now involve information that resides primarily online. The cloud has brought a myriad of great cloud security software services to our fingertips wherever we want them, but with the immense benefit comes potential risk .
From email to multimedia, and even whole application suites, virtually any task can now be achieved with as little as a browser or internet-connected app.
It’s truly liberating to be able to access your files and software anywhere you need to, on any device – notebook, tablet or smartphone, but this also poses a new set of problems for keeping your data secure. Cloud security is only as good as the way you use your apps and devices. Whether it’s by hacking into your home network via an insecure router or having one of your mobile devices stolen, there are many ways that access can be obtained to your data on the cloud keeping your privacy not secure.
In mid-2017, routers from one of the UK’s leading broadband vendors were found to have been shipped with a simple default password. Keeping the default router password is never wise, even if the default isn’t so simplistic. You should also ensure that your router’s firewall is turned on, although it should be automatically, and properly configured.
There are also good habits to get into when using any service that’s internet connected – particularly when it comes to phishing emails. It’s a good rule of thumb to never click on any email link unless you’re sure it’s legitimate. You can usually preview the URL of a link without following it by hovering your mouse over it, and if you don’t recognize the website the email claims to be from, stay clear!
Cloud security: How to stay safe in the cloud
Password management is another area that’s increasingly problematic. We now rely on umpteen different cloud services, each with their own login credentials. It’s very tempting to write down passwords on paper, in locally stored files, or on cloud-based services. But they are potentially very insecure, particularly if you rarely change your credentials.
It’s nearly impossible to remember complex auto-generated passwords. However, a great way to create passwords that you can remember is to use a memorable sentence and take the first letter or letters from each word, followed by a number sequence of your choosing. This will have similar strength to a completely random string, but much easier to recall.
Be safe outdoors
When you are using a mobile device, there will be many times when you’re accessing cloud services in public spaces. It’s a good rule of thumb to make sure your device isn’t discoverable on a public network. Also, be very careful before you connect to public Wi-Fi. Criminals have increasingly been creating rogue access points with SSIDs that have been copied from ones nearby, so users unwittingly join them thinking they’re the real ones – thereby giving access to their devices.
It’s recommended practice to change passwords regularly, so having a system for creating passwords that are hard to guess but easy to remember is essential. You should also keep track of all the services for which you have supplied credentials, as having one compromised could mean someone has a means to impersonate you and gain access elsewhere. To help with this, Kaspersky’s Security Cloud includes a secure vault where you can store all your passwords.
By keeping an eye on security news you can act quickly if a breach occurs with a service you use. You shouldn’t put complete faith in a cloud backup, either, or your internet connection. It’s a good idea to keep at least one local copy of your most important data on a home desktop or NAS device on your home network, and ensure it’s as up to date as possible.
Fortunately, security isn’t just about you and your cloud habits. There are tools to help you spot new dangers and provide protection for your devices automatically. For example, the aforementioned Kaspersky Security Cloud adapts to whatever you’re doing and enables the protection you need, such as keeping your connection safe on public Wi-Fi.
Kaspersky Security Cloud also runs in the cloud itself, so doesn’t put a heavy load on your device like some locally-based services. It includes a built-in advisor that provides context-sensitive advice about steps you can take to remain secure in your current environment. There’s a portal for managing all your devices, too. A Personal account protects up to three or five devices, and a Family account can protect up to 20 devices from multiple users at once.
It’s hard to stay out of the cloud these days, we live our lives online though one device or another, but by taking the right precautions and arming yourself with a safety net like Kaspersky Security Cloud, you can enjoy all those cloud-based benefits without worrying.
To Find out more about Kaspersky Security Cloud, and try it out for free go to: https://www.kaspersky.co.uk/security-cloud