As a cloud services company in Raleigh, we often receive questions about how to best secure any data that is stored in the cloud. While the answer truly depends on what level of security you’re seeking and what type of data and storage you’ve chosen, there is one simple hint that can aid nearly every company in their online security. That hint is to “focus on passwords”.

While we’re sure that that was a bit of an anticlimactic statement, there is much more to it than your standard “include one upper case letter, one number, and one symbol”. In fact, the author of those password guidelines (specifically included in NIST Special Publication 800-63. Appendix A) has recently come out and stated that what he has managed to accomplish is the exact opposite of what he set out to achieve. Instead of creating strong passwords, he’s created passwords that are easier for computers to crack than humans to remember and has created standards that make password security a huge hassle across all companies, for both employees and management. In addition, many of the tools used to crack passwords and break into secure systems these days are specifically designed to deal with our alphabet soup passwords.

Cloud Security in the 21st Century

Luckily, there are quite a few ways to secure your data in the cloud that are just as deceptively simple as the old password rules are unnecessarily complicated. As a managed network security company in Raleigh, Strategic Systems has learned how to best make sure that your data remains protected:

Ideal Password Length

Due to the nature of password cracking programs in the modern world, the longer a password is, the harder it is to crack most of the time. While this is not a constant, due to highly repeated phrases (Carolina Hurricanes would be relatively common, for example), it is common enough that lengthening a phrase like “Stanley Cup winner Carolina Hurricanes” would take much longer.

Nonsensicality Helps Secure Your Cloud Data

One of the major attacks used by hackers to break through passwords on your Raleigh cloud storage is called a “dictionary attack”. This is where a computer goes through words in the dictionary to try and match them up to your password. These attacks will also often use word association to try and guess the next word in a string. So, for example, the password above “Stanley Cup winner Carolina Hurricanes” would be easier to guess than a nonsensical phrase like “tractor mountain Carolina Hurricanes 1875”. Given this, one of the better choices when creating a password for yourself is choose a relatively nonsensical phrase but remember it via a mnemonic, acronym, or mental image. To use the example above, imagine the Carolina Hurricanes driving a tractor on a mountain in 1875.

Secure Your Cloud Storage with our Managed Network Security in Raleigh

Passwords are the most basic part of online security, in that they are the area where most users have contact with the system. This means that the best way to secure your data is to make sure that you have a strong password and an understanding of what makes a password strong. However, they are not the only threat to your data out there. There are a number of other hacks, exploits, and cracks available to the experienced hacker. In addition, the proliferation of hacking programs has allowed relative novices to start threatening the cloud storage of even the most secure companies. If you want a Raleigh managed network security company that understands the ins and outs of how to fight against these threats to your data, contact Strategic Systems today!