Cloud data is becoming a common resource among business owners and even individuals. Nowadays, businesses don’t have to worry about where they are going to store their company data because they can always rely on third-party providers. People don’t need to store their data on hard drives anymore because they can rely on servers that are hosted by third parties.
Cloud data storage has many advantages. For some, it acts as a backup, extra storage space, or other important functions. Cloud computing has grown in the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic after many employees started working outside traditional offices.
As much as cloud computing and storage reliance has gone up, there are security issues associated with it. Hacking has increased too since the onset of the pandemic.
You might be wondering what is the cloud and what exactly cloud computing is. Many cloud services exist. It is also most likely that you have used a cloud service before. Think of the last time you used Google Docs, watched a Netflix movie, or even stored some files on Dropbox. All those are cloud services.
A cloud service is a service that is not located on your personal computer and you have to access the internet since it runs there. Some companies that provide cloud services include Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.
If you have your photos backed up to google drive that is also a cloud service. You don’t have to use a specific device to access them. All you need are the correct login details to your google account and you can access them from anywhere.
Everything ranging from Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Dropbox to Gmail are cloud services that provide storing data services.
Security of Cloud Services
As the reliance on technology increases, so do malicious activities conducted online. In cloud computing, someone else has control of your data. You might wonder if cloud storage services are secure. Cloud security solutions always strive hard to protect sensitive data. Millions of users trust these companies with their sensitive and meaningful data.
Cloud data is always stored in an encrypted form. This means that if a hacker gets access to the cloud system, they must first find the encryption key. However, the privacy and safety of customer’s data depend on the solutions provider. Although all providers may integrate encryption, the type may vary.
Here are some ways how your cloud solutions provider may be boosting your data’s privacy and safety.
1. Ensuring consistent security patches and updates
Updates contain tools that are designed to protect users from the latest malware and viruses. If your cloud service provider ignores such updates, they are likely to be targets of certain cyber attacks. This might compromise your data. Companies that host the cloud servers always ensure they perform regular updates and patches on their devices. This makes your data secure through the updated security measures.
2. Using built-in firewalls
A firewall keeps user’s data safe from the public internet. Cloud providers also highly rely on this technology. The firewalls are configured to filter traffic coming to your internal network according to the set rules. The firewall filters any suspicious traffic which makes it hard for hackers to slip in malware.
3. Ensuring third-party security testing
Cloud providers boost cloud security through outsourced cyber security companies that provide testing services. The hired companies test the servers, software, and other devices and tools the cloud providers rely on. Through regular testing, your cloud provider can know which systems to patch and which threats to monitor. This increases defense which keeps hackers away and your data in the cloud safe.
4. Using AI tools and ensuring auto-patching
Artificial intelligence is a wave coming to make services more secure and protecting the data. However, cloud providers only rely on experienced A.I tools. Artificial intelligence can do more tasks intelligently than humans. Cloud providers are now using AI for first-level security analysis. Such tools use built-in algorithms to identify different vulnerabilities and security threats.
5. Ultra backed up data reliance
Cloud providers may experience power outages or even hardware failures. Any company can experience natural disasters cloud companies included. This is why cloud storage providers practice redundancy. Your data is backed up many times to different data centers. This way, if a server in a certain location goes down, you will still have access to your data which is stored in many copies from other different servers and data centers.
Precautions Users Should Take To Improve Their Cloud Security
Although most cloud providers may have so many backup and disaster recovery techniques. You as the owner of the data also need to practice some precautions. Such precautions will help in boosting security and ensuring data protection. Such precautions include;
1. Performing data back-ups
As a business owner, you should ensure any cloud provider you choose backs up user data. Your company information should not be on one server only in case of any disaster. In other circumstances, the server may be offline or experiencing an outage. This will make your information unavailable and it is highly encouraged to use providers who have several back-ups.
In addition, you might want to back up your valuable and sensitive data on personal hard drives even if it is still backed up on the cloud. This will provide your business an extra layer of protection.
2. Ensuring data encryption
You should work with a cloud services provider which encrypts customer data. This will prevent hackers from easily accessing users’ files and data. Encryption scrambles data which pauses hackers ensuring easier identification once suspicious activity is detected.
3. Enabling two factor authentication
Two factor authentication provides an extra layer of security. This makes intrusion harder. Two factor authentication requires users to provide two pieces of information which they should use when login into a site. You should enable two factor authentication in all your cloud data services accounts. This way, even if a hacker tries to compromise your account, they will not be successful since they must have a second identification entity.
Any cloud storage service should ensure data security. Any cloud security solutions business owners choose should be well vetted. Although cloud computing services may promise you great services, cloud storage security should always be your first concern.
In addition, you should also take initiative to ensure you enable security policies like two factor authentication in your company. Ensuring proper protocols from your company’s end will prevent cloud security challenges and ensure that the services you receive are efficient.
If your business doesn’t have enough expertise to handle cloud computing services, you should consider outsourcing the services of professionals. Cybersecurity professionals like Kaesim cybersecurity can easily help you choose the cloud providers you want for your business.
How cyber-secure is your business? Find out with our free cybersecurity health check.
It’s a 30-minute Zoom call that walks through a checklist to assess your current cybersecurity levels and provide a short report with some advice and recommendations.