Some basic tips for securing data in the cloud

This story originally appeared as a post over on the blog of Onehub’s sister product, Marshal. But it had some good, general tips for securing your data in the cloud, so we thought we’d re-post it here. 

As a refresher, Marshal is a new online tool that can scan your cloud accounts (such as Box, Dropbox, Onehub and more) to uncover any exposed sensitive data you may be storing. You can try it by running a free scan right now.  

Marshal is just a piece when puzzling out your security strategy

I take a ferry into work and often people will leave jigsaw puzzles out for passengers to complete. It’s quaint and a relaxing way to pass the time.

Data security, on the other hand is a puzzle that is neither quaint nor relaxing. It requires constant vigilance, which is why we built Marshal. But Marshal is just a piece of your overall security strategy.

In fact, Marshal shouldn’t necessarily be a starting point for better data security — there are a number of steps you should be taking to protect your data before running your first free scan with us, such as:

  1. Enable two-step verification on your cloud accounts. If you’re an administrator, consider enforcing this policy across all users of your cloud account.
  2. Use complex passwords. Please, please, please don’t ever use “admin” or “password” or “1234” as a password — on anything. Use a password manager like 1Password and require complex passwords across your account.
  3. Don’t trust public Wi-Fi. You never know what menaces may be lurking on the network. Slate offered up the no barefoot rule, which is also good advice.
  4. Use all the tools. Take advantage of extra file sharing security tools that are offered such as link expiration, access revocation, session timeouts and more.

These steps are really just table stakes for cloud-based file sharing anymore. We recommend you do your research to make sure you are being as secure with your file sharing as you can be. ZDNet Online Security 101 is a great starting point, and there are a ton of resources online.

Once you’ve gotten the basics down, Marshal can take you to the next level. Our free scan tells you if you are storing exposed sensitive information like Social Security numbers and credit card numbers in your cloud as well as if you are still sharing those files with other parties.

Data security is a puzzle that you’ll never really finish. But that’s okay! Marshal will always be here to help you fill in some of the pieces.