How Secure Are Cloud Services?
Cloud-based storage solutions are quickly becoming a staple for enterprises and organizations everywhere. From giant corporations with multiple headquarters to budding small businesses, everyone needs a safe storage solution for their data and information.
With the ever-growing popularity of cloud services, there is also an increasing amount of security concerns surrounding the cloud. Businesses that convert to the cloud want the best and most secure systems available, and most hope to avoid the looming threat of a cyberattack such as a breach, virus, or loss of data.
There are many questions surrounding cloud services, and the answers to whether they are secure are complex. Cloud security is typically pretty tight, but nothing is ever perfect. So, can you truly store private information in the cloud safely? Below, we take a closer look at encryption, protection, and potential cloud security threats.
What Is the Cloud?
Cloud computing has been around for a while now, so at this point, you might be embarrassed to ask how the cloud actually works. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Simply put, the cloud is everything that you can access remotely on the internet through browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. In essence, it is an off-site storage system maintained by a cloud services provider that frees up space on your system’s hard drives.
Colleges, offices, businesses, and other kinds of companies across all types of industries rely on tightly secured cloud services. Various documents and other items are stored in the cloud, allowing employees or customers to access them on any internet-based platform. Items typically stored in the cloud include:
- Picture and video
- Client data and information
- Website data
- Financial information
- Other digital media
Cloud storage systems make it easy for employees to access, share, and sometimes even publish information or critical documents so long as there’s an internet connection. Cloud storage also often contains confidential customer information, which is why obtaining secure cloud services from a reputable cloud provider is crucial for businesses.
How Can the Cloud Possibly Be Secure?
When essential information in files, photos, and other digital media forms seemingly vanishes into thin air after being saved, it can leave people wondering: where does all that information end up? If files aren’t saved directly to my computer’s hard drive, can it possibly be safe?
The concerns surrounding cloud storage security are valid and relevant. It’s vital that businesses have a reliable cloud storage service to store private client or company information without the risk of any data breaches.
Although in a perfect world, data breaches would be a thing of the past, the reality is that they happen, and they can have a disastrous impact on any company. When looking for a trustworthy cloud storage service for your business, ensure that your provider offers the following essential features:
When shopping around for the right cloud services provider for your business, ensure that they can encrypt your information in the cloud. Encryption is a popular online security method that uses complex algorithms to encode your private information. It requires a specific encryption key to access encrypted files.
In general, encryption is fairly air-tight. Although hackers can crack encrypted information, the process isn’t very easy. The amount of processing power it takes to hack into encrypted files and data makes it an unrealistic task.
Encrypting data and information stored in the cloud is crucial in maintaining confidentiality for businesses, universities, and other organizations. Encrypt private information in your cloud storage, including the following:
- Financial statements
- Bank records
- HR information
- Customer credit card information
Another crucial aspect of your cloud storage’s security is authentication. You might be familiar with the idea of authentication as more and more social media sites move toward requiring protocols like two-factor authentication for additional user privacy protection.
Authentication ensures that the person attempting to access your cloud storage location is taking that action legitimately. Two-factor authentication asks for a second verification, whether in the form of an email, text message, or phone call.
Authorization is another vital part of securing a private cloud storage system. Clients or team leaders can provide a list of authorized users, allowing them to access files within the cloud storage system.
Companies can limit levels of authorization and permissions as well. For example, a lower-level employee might only have limited access to some regions of the cloud, but a higher-up department head will have the authority to access everything within the system.
Keeping an organized and up-to-date record of all current authorizations enables business owners to track all the team members who have access to critical files. Your chosen cloud services provider can help set up permissions for your cloud storage solution.
Communicate Safely with the Cloud
Keeping teams connected is a crucial aspect of any well-functioning business operation, regardless of its size. The cloud allows employees to access and share critical company information, so it needs to be super-secure. Whether you’re a multi-million dollar company or a small startup, securing your company and customer information in a safe place should be a top priority.
Cloud services store tons of information, including files, photos, and much more, all in one place. The excellent advantage of cloud storage solutions is that they can be accessed anywhere, on any device, as long as there is an internet connection. With such vital information all in one place, it’s critical that companies have a secure cloud storage solution monitored by an experienced IT company or cloud service provider.
Although the risk of threat to cloud storage systems is minimal, it’s still better to be prepared than be blindsided by a data breach. Working with an IT support provider like Total IT ensures that all of your cloud services are as safe as possible at all times. Employees and customers alike can rest easy knowing that their private data is being securely monitored and protected from any potential threats.