Cloud computing offers flexible, affordable and scalable solutions to people who want to store data online, but it also comes with some risks. Whether you’re using the cloud for business or personal purposes, Calgary insurance brokers urge you understand what these risks are and learn how to protect yourself from them. Cyber crime continues to rise, and criminals are always learning new ways to breach security features. Don’t become a victim.
Calgary Insurance Brokers: The Importance of Identity Theft Insurance
If you tend to transact a significant amount of business online, Calgary insurance brokers like Lane’s recommend that you carry specialized identity theft insurance. This type of coverage can save you a lot of stress and hassle in the event that your personal information is digitally breached, and it is available both on a personal and commercial basis.
Insurance industry professionals have noted that as cloud computing becomes more ubiquitous, security concerns are becoming increasingly apparent. There have been several major cloud computing security breaches already, affecting major retailers like Target and Home Depot.
If it is absolutely necessary for you to store personal or financial information on the cloud, including your address, credit card account information, tax information, Social Insurance Number, or bank details, it’s definitely a good idea to pick up identity theft coverage along with your cloud computing plan.
Cloud Computing Security Risks
By its very nature and design, cloud computing comes with inherent risks. These risks originate from:
- The fact that a third party is responsible for managing and protecting your personal data
- The constant threat of cyberattacks
- The chance that someone inside the organization is participating in criminal activity
- Possible government intrusion into personal data stored on the cloud
- A relative lack of standardization across the cloud computing industry
- An overall dearth of support for victims of cyberattacks or data breaches
- The omnipresence of hackers in the online world
In short, there’s no way to completely eliminate risk if you’re going to store sensitive information in the cloud. However, you can reduce these risks if you’re careful about choosing your storage plan as well as your service provider.
Calgary Insurance Brokers: Reducing Your Online Risk
Experts suggest that you ask five major questions whenever you’re shopping around for a cloud computing service provider:
- Do they have appropriate security standards? Compliance standards have been implemented across the cloud computing industry. Always ask any provider you’re considering if they are signatory to industry-wide compliance agreements.
- How much data will you be storing? As a general rule of thumb, the more data you’ll be storing, the harder it will be to protect it all. If you’ve got an unusually high volume of information, consider spreading it out over several cloud accounts through different providers. That way, if one is breached, the others will likely still be safe.
- Does the service provider automatically encrypt your data? Reputable service providers will always support encryption every time you upload or download data from the cloud. It is especially important for your data to be protected during uploading and downloading, since it is particularly vulnerable to third-party attacks during these phases.
- Is your data encrypted while it’s being stored? Once you’ve successfully uploaded your data, you don’t want to leave it sitting on the Internet unprotected. Make sure your cloud provider encrypts all data being stored in a static state on its servers. This provides an essential extra level of protection against hackers, identity thieves and cyber criminals.
- What happens if there’s a security breach? Make sure the cloud provider offers you some level of support or protection in the event of a security breach. While it is unlikely that anything will happen to your data during uploading, storage and/or downloading, it’s an ever-present possibility and you don’t want to be left to fend for yourself in a worst-case scenario.
Here are some additional type to help you stay safe online:
- Always use and maintain up-to-date antivirus software
- Consider using firewall if you have specialized security needs
- Create secure passwords, and change them on a regular basis
- Never reply to suspicious emails, or click on any links in emails you don’t recognize or weren’t expecting
- Store as little personal information online as possible
Calgary Insurance Brokers: Discover the Lane’s Difference
Lane’s Insurance is a full-service, Alberta-based brokerage offering comprehensive resources, competitive rates, and second-to-none claims support. To learn more about our wide range of insurance products, or to get a fast, free online quote, please visit us at Lane’s Insurance today.