Before the advent of cloud services, it was popular for most businesses to utilize on-site data storage methods such as hard drives, network servers, and direct-attached storage (DAS). In fact, many companies are still holding on to this method. Why businesses have held off from embracing the latest cloud technology could come down to a few reasons: they’re comfortable with the way things are and don’t want to rock the boat, transitioning may feel like a time-consuming process, they’re indifferent or unaware of their vulnerability to cyber attacks, or they don’t believe sending their data to the cloud will be any safer. With cybersecurity threats on the rise, safeguarding your company’s proprietary data is paramount. A breach in data could exact a costly toll on your business. Cloud services offer superior data security over in-house storage by utilizing several robust cybersecurity measures.
How Secure is the Cloud?
Relinquishing control of your business’s data to a third party’s cloud infrastructure may feel counterintuitive. After all, your data includes information vital to your business’s function. However, crafty hackers can use malware and phishing emails to access information stored on your hard drives. Also, physical hard drives, servers, and other critical equipment could be subjected to theft or even sabotage. Whether or not a thief exploits their data is only part of the problem. With the equipment gone, so goes the data without the cloud.
In contrast, cloud providers typically house all their caged servers in warehouses with limited access from workers. All files stored on the servers are encrypted. For hackers, scrambled data is a headache to extract. Beyond that, cloud providers deploy several security measures to keep your data out of reach from cyber thieves.
What Makes Cloud Services Secure?
Cloud security leverages four important tools to maximize security measures for cloud users. With trusted data in their care, cloud providers work hard to keep would-be cyber thieves at bay. Let’s explore how these tools can offer you assurance and peace of mind while maintaining the integrity of your precious data.
Regular Security Checks and Updates
Large cloud storage providers have operations centers staffed with professional cybersecurity experts whose sole purpose is managing potential threats from hackers. These experts provide around-the-clock surveillance of their servers. Software teams provide continual updates to keep applications running at optimal levels. They also proactively stress-test the system to pinpoint any potential security flaws. Cyber thieves are always looking for missed security patches to break into networks.
AI Tools and Auto-patching
To help oversee the vast amount of data under its care, cloud providers utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to manage lower-level security analysis. AI programs use built-in algorithms to identify possible flaws in security. Cybersecurity experts are then free to focus on more complex security issues.
As the name suggests, firewalls function like a wall between hackers and your data. Cloud providers use firewalls to manage all the traffic trying to access their network. Like a bouncer at a club, suspicious or dangerous traffic is stopped before it can get in. By safeguarding data behind the firewall, hackers will have a tough time trying to deliver viruses or malware into the network.
Cloud providers make several copies of your data which are then stored on various servers around the country, or even the world, to ensure you will always have access to your data. This redundancy is designed to combat the possibility of hardware or power failures, natural disasters, and any other scenario that could put your data at risk of being lost. Many businesses attempt this with their own in-house servers; however, an on-site system failure can result in permanent data loss. In-house servers simply cannot match the redundancy level of large cloud providers. Hardware can fail even after a few years. Without good redundancy measures, data could be lost.
Tips for Cloud Security
If you are already storing data in the cloud or thinking of trying it out for the first time, there are four things you can do to safeguard your data:
Most cloud providers provide encryption of your data. You can always check with your provider to make sure of that. Encrypting data makes it very difficult for a hacker to steal your data. For the “gold standard” of encryption security, consider encrypting your data before sending it to the cloud. This practice is known as “end-to-end encryption” or “E2EE” for short. With E2EE, data stays encrypted on the cloud provider’s servers. That means no one, including the cloud storage provider, can access your data without your encryption key. Even in the middle of a transfer, your data is safe.
Ensure Data Backup Regularly
All large cloud providers provide redundancy measures for your data. However, always check in with your cloud provider to ensure they adhere to these practices. If not, consider going the old route, backing up your most precious data on hard drives. This is an extreme option, but at least you’ll have even more protection should you need it. Please note: utilizing a cloud provider that offers redundancy is highly recommended.
Activate Two-Factor Authentication
Enabling two-factor authentication adds another layer of security when any attempt is made to log into your site. Two-factor authentication is straightforward. Once a username and password are entered when logging in, a code will be generated and sent to your email or phone. It depends on which you specify. Once you receive the code, you enter it on your site. Access is then granted.
A simple mistake many people make is staying logged into their cloud account when they are finished accessing it. Don’t leave the door open for a potential cyber thief to walk in. They won’t need a two-factor authentication code or even your password. Be sure to log out any devices logged into the account. Some cloud providers offer an automated time-out feature for safety. Enabling it is an easy way to keep your data safe.
Utilizing cloud storage is a smart way to store your data as well as protect it. With the cloud, you can access your encrypted data just about anywhere. Diversifying your data storage allows you the flexibility to erase and download your data on any device with confidence and ease. A recent survey by the Cloud Security Alliance found that an overwhelming 64.9% of IT leaders believe the cloud is as secure or more secure than on-premises software. To learn how Cynergy Technology can provide guidance to the global world of cloud options available to your organization, reach out to us today!