Lesson Well Learnt: Killer Tips For Securing The Personal Cloud

Lesson Well Learnt: Killer Tips for Securing the Personal Cloud

The hefty majority of internet users exhibit a significant level of dependency upon the cloud for digital content applications. From attractive personal cloud storage options to utterly useful email and web-services, cloud technology now has its stranglehold deep into the core dynamics of contemporary personal computing infrastructure. While every passing day witnesses cloud service providers pumping in a great deal of monetary funding as well as human effort to render the private cloud a safer abode for digital content, it is important to realize that the proceedings at the user’s end are equivalent of a decisive factor while taking the efficacy of cloud security measures into account.

There are certain types of breaches that extend beyond the scope of mitigation ensured at the user end – the most noteworthy example being the surgically tailored social hack experienced by Mat Honan last week. For the softer genres of hack attempts, a few extra precautionary measures can mark a definite difference between secured content and the otherwise inevitable information leakage.

To start off with, it is an excellent idea to have distinct usernames and passwords corresponding to each of the cloud-based services. This is fairly important as one would never want a single account contravention to trigger an unavoidable avalanche of the same. Furthermore, the passwords must contain an ample degree of controlled ambiguity so that the ultimate guess would still be a hard nut to crack. Blending in complexity serves the purpose pretty well; an inter play of special characters, alphabets and numbers is bound to make the hack a thorny feat to achieve.

Same applies for answers to security questions. It is preferable not to come up with custom designed questions for secondary level security. Sticking with the defaults is the last thing one would want to do. If the latter does happen to be the case, be sure to come up with answers that are not commonplace. As per theory, one of the most appropriate answers to, e.g., your birthplace would be: JUP1T3R – that’s ‘Jupiter’ jumbled up – obscure, distinct enough, and literally out of this world.

Another counter-intrusive measure is to have one’s digital content encrypted. Tousled information would appear non-sense to anybody lacking the password (and spur) to decipher (or crack) it. Setting up data-encryption does require a slight added effort at the user’s end. Obtaining relevant encryption software and having the encryption password(s) off pat is the least that’s needed. The subscription will cost a few extra bucks and it’s worth it.

Two-factor authentication is another effectual mechanism by virtue of which content can be further secured. Introducing an additional dimension of verification, a unique code sent to the users’ personal communication device in real time for example, is all set to bring a higher level of security. Certain service providers prefer a designated device for two-factor authentication purposes. The dedicated device is provided to end-users that generates a pseudo-random sequence at the push of a button. The sequence needs to be seeded in along with the username and password at each authentication instance. If you’ve landed yourself such a gadget, double-check that it’s kept somewhere safe and is reachable.

In addition, it makes perfect sense to have important data backed up. External hard-drives supporting mammoth capacity ranges have now become affordable. Equally effective is the option of having a secondary cloud backing up your primary cloud. Third party cloud services custom tailored to serve as backup cloud are in vogue.

Last but not the least, it’s advisable to have data done with for good when it is no longer in use. This is particularly important for confidential email messages, sensitive information, secretive contacts and so on. Practices such as using an updated antivirus, deploying a website advisor tool, securing your Wi-Fi network, avoiding anonymous file-sharing and, in general, staying away from anything that seems woolly will accentuate digital content’s integrity. Change willingly before hack-events storm in to prove their might.

By Humayun Shahid

About Humayun

With degrees in Communication Systems Engineering and Signal Processing, Humayun currently works as a lecturer at Pakistan's leading engineering university. The author has an inclination towards incorporating quality user experience design in smartphone and web applications.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hybrid Cloud Environments After several years of steady cloud adoption in the enterprise, an interesting trend has emerged: More companies are retaining their existing, on-premise IT infrastructures while also embracing the latest cloud technologies. In fact, IDC predicts markets for such hybrid cloud environments will grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw…

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Once upon a time, only a select few companies like Google and Salesforce possessed the knowledge and expertise to operate efficient cloud infrastructure and applications. Organizations patronizing those companies benefitted with apps that offered new benefits in flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. These days, the sharp division between cloud and on-premises infrastructure…