Are Your Cloud Documents as Secure as You Think? What You Need to Know to Ensure Data Security

What You Need to Know to Ensure Data Security

Whatever your sector, industry, or vertical, your business runs on data. More and more frequently, transactions, customer data, financial records, and more — virtually all your important information — is stored digitally on cloud-based solutions. Data security is now interchangeable with business security. When sensitive organizational data lives in the cloud, you’re often left wondering: Is it really secure?

That worry isn’t groundless. With cybercrimes hitting new highs and data thieves harnessing innovations like black hat AI, that cloud looming over your head can start to feel like a potential data security disaster. The question is: Are your cloud documents completely secure, or are you one data breach away from catastrophic failure?

Data security isn’t an option — it’s an essential for businesses that want to protect their information (and their finances). Robust cloud data security isn’t an impossible goal. It just takes the right approach and diligence. With a mix of data encryption, stringent access protocols, user education, and adherence to international data compliance and standards, you can fortify your cloud data security.

Understanding the spectrum of data security

It’s important to understand that data security isn’t a monolithic concept. It’s a dynamic, multi-layered strategy intertwined with different components. The three crucial elements are data security, transport security, and data isolation.

Data security

In the context of cloud computing, data security primarily applies to the confidentiality and integrity of your data through the use of encryption.

Encryption transforms your readable data into a coded form, which only someone with the appropriate decryption key can decode and read. Even if a hacker were able to access your data, without the key, all they would have is gibberish.

Transport security

Transport security addresses vulnerabilities that can occur while your data is in transit. This includes data that moves from one place to another within the cloud or transfers to or from the cloud and local storage. Transport security uses various protective measures (like SSL/TLS encryption) to safeguard your data from interception or tampering during transmission.

Data isolation

This security protocol ensures that your data doesn’t mingle or overlap with someone else’s within the same cloud space. It’s like having separate, impenetrable vaults for each user’s data in the cloud’s shared environment. With data isolation, you can be confident that your data lives in its own secure space, immune from unintentional cross-contamination or deliberate breaches.

Primary consumer security concerns

When it comes to consumer perception of cloud-based data, end users tend to have two chief concerns — that their data can be completely erased when they wish and that any stored data is secure and reliable. Balancing these opposing user needs — account and information deletion and information retention — poses a nuanced challenge. However, it is a critical part of building a comprehensive and trustworthy cloud data security strategy.

Account and information deletion

Users primarily want to be sure that once they hit “delete” on something, it’s gone for good. They want assurance that their deleted data — whether payment information, digitized personal identification, or other private data — can’t be recovered or retrieved.

This isn’t just a necessary business practice. In many cases, personal information or sensitive organizational data is a mandated legal and regulatory compliance issue. Robust data deletion mechanisms ensure your users have control over their account information and data.

You can read more about Foxit’s Document Retention Policy here.

Information retention

Information retention is the other side of the coin. Here, the focus is to guarantee the survival of essential data. Users want to be sure that their critical information can withstand cyber threats, accidental deletion, or even system errors.

The objective is to ensure that customer data can be securely and completely retrieved if needed, even after significant events. Secure backups, redundancies, and timely data recovery solutions are all components that help meet this critical user requirement.

The value of periodic cloud security audits

Regular, periodic security audits are a critical aspect of maintaining cloud data security. This involves a holistic review of your entire cloud-based data infrastructure, from account access protocols to data encryption standards.

Regular audits can help you stay ahead of risk factors and ensure that every bit of your data remains just as secure as you need it to be. This proactive approach allows you to catch any potential problems before they lead to a breach — rather than taking a reactive approach.

The value of periodic cloud security audits

Leverage data security and user control

Another significant element of cloud data security is to ensure end-users have complete control over their own data. It’s not enough to set stringent access protocols. You must also give them appropriate control over data management with user-led controls, such as:

  • Selective sharing options
  • Access revocation rights
  • The ability to set document expiration deadlines

International compliance and standards

In a globally connected digital landscape, adhering to international compliance mandates and standards is non-negotiable. These regulations govern how data should be managed and transferred, with stringent requirements around sensitive information like financial or personally identifiable data. It’s contingent that data security decision-makers familiarize themselves with standards like GDPRISO 27001, and others relevant to their geography or industry.

Compliance isn’t just about avoiding penalties — it’s a badge of trust and reliability that shows your users you exercise all due diligence and place the security of their data at the head of your operations.

Employee training: an often-overlooked aspect of security

Most security breaches are the result of user error. Regular employee training on best data management practices and common security threats is vital. A workforce that knows how to recognize potential threats is your first line of defense against cybersecurity breaches.

Final thoughts and further reading

The issues related to cloud data security are genuine and require serious consideration. The question, “What is data security?” should be a key concern of any business that stores data in the cloud. Understanding and implementing the complex factors outlined above are key to maintaining a robust cloud data security posture.

That’s where Foxit can be a valuable ally. Data security is at the center of everything we do. We’re constantly innovating and reinforcing our security measures to provide you with the certainty you need when it comes to keeping your sensitive information safe. If you’re ready to dive into researched insights and actionable takeaways to fortify your data and cloud security, we’ve provided free access to our white paper on cloud documents security. There’s no such thing as too much security, and being informed and proactive is your best defensive strategy.

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