Types of Data That Require Extra Protection in the Cloud
Cloud services offer a convenient option for storing large amounts of data, but transferring items to and from the cloud is far from secure. If you use the cloud, protection in the cloud is needed as it’s crucial that you think about the information you’re keeping there. Take added precautions for these types of sensitive items to make sure your information is staying safe.
Personal Health Information
Health care records have been one of the most recent targets for hackers. Hacking rates for this type of data increased 11,000 percent in 2015, with a third of all Americans’ records compromised. Criminals can use this information to pay for their own care and treatments, and you may not realize you’re a victim until you see the bill. It’s crucial that you protect your health information vigilantly. If you’re storing any type of medical or billing data in the cloud, make sure you’re taking the proper precautions. Services like OneDrive suggest using additional security measures for sensitive information.
Your personal identification information is anything that can be used to distinguish you as an individual. Criminals may only need one or two pieces of this information to steal your identity, so you need to keep these details as secure as possible. Personal identification information includes your birthdate, driver’s license number, Social Security number, insurance account number, and bank account number. Once a thief has your personal information, he or she can apply for new credit cards in your name, open a utility account, or even take your tax refund.
If you’ve ever transferred money between bank accounts or made a purchase online, you know how powerful the right string of numbers can be. You don’t need much to access someone’s finances. Bank account numbers, credit card numbers, payroll details, and loan information are all extremely sensitive.
Fortunately, your financial details have an added layer of protection in the form of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA). This requires your financial institutions to explain all their information sharing practices to you. Make sure you’re working with reliable institutions that comply with the Safeguards Rule and strive to stay ahead of the latest security trends.
If you’re using the cloud for your business, added security is more than a luxury; it’s often a legal necessity. State agencies, federal agencies, and private companies that have contractual relationships with the government must comply with the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA). FISMA’s requirements include the following:
- Maintaining an inventory of all information systems, ranked by risk level
- Designing a system security plan
- Performing regular risk assessments
- Continuously monitoring information systems
- Implementing security controls
- Maintaining current certification and accreditation
If you use cloud services, data encryption is an essential part of staying in compliance with FISMA and keeping your business data safe. Choose a cloud provider that doesn’t have access to these encryption keys so that your data is well secured.
While it’s important to use smart security measures for all your data, you should give some extra attention to these sensitive types of information. Technology-savvy cybercriminals are always on the lookout for flaws in your methods, so stay watchful over your data and make sure it’s safe.