Cloud Storage: How Safe Is It And What Are The Potential Risks?
Files in the cloud are unfortunately some of the most susceptible to being hacked if there are no robust security measures in place. The fact that they are stored and transmitted over the internet is also a risk factor that must be carefully considered. And even if the cloud service provides secure encryption for files, data can still be intercepted by hackers anywhere in the world on route to its destination. This article will look at what you can do to help prevent this from happening.
What is cloud storage?
When storing your files in the cloud you are giving your company, or the government, access to them remotely. This can be a risk to your business’s data and the security of it if it is not secure. Some cloud storage providers, such as DropBox, offer a version that has end-to-end encryption. This will make it virtually impossible for someone to see what you are storing. But there are other cloud storage services which do not offer encryption at all and hence carry some risks.
SMB’s often focus on the usefulness of cloud services as a convenience rather than security. This is with little thought to what they are doing to protect their data. These risks are usually unknown to the small business owner or their IT team. They will have to depend on the expertise of consultants to prevent damage and compromise of any data.
Potential risks of using cloud storage
If you feel insecure, there are certain things you can do. As a preventive measure, make sure to password protect all your cloud-stored files and avoid freely accessible file sharing platforms. (use a robust password with random letters, numbers and special characters). You can also enable two-factor authentication, which will help with ensuring that only legitimate parties can access the data.
On a more philosophical note, if cloud storage is your aim, you should always maintain an offsite backup solution in order to avoid data loss. This requires a high level of technological sophistication and, perhaps, a serious investment of time and money.
If you’re not comfortable enough to maintain backups of your files on your own, then it is advisable to try to find a trustworthy cloud service with adequate security mechanisms and backup capabilities in place.
How to best use the cloud
Start by considering your needs. The ease with which you can use the cloud means that the average user has a multitude of tools at their disposal to suit their individual requirements.
Each platform is tailored to suit the type of data you wish to keep, as well as the storage requirements you desire. As such, the only way to find the perfect cloud storage option is to look at the very specific needs of your business.
One of the most popular providers of cloud storage is Google Drive. Google’s cloud storage platform has been backed by the hugely popular search engine, and includes a free storage limit of 15GB. The free storage offers essentially the most useful benefit of cloud storage to businesses.
Next is Microsoft OneDrive which is also extremely popular.