How Secure Is Your Data When Stored in the Cloud?

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No longer are the days where people use hard drives to store their data. There’s been a significant shift to storing information in the cloud. The benefits of using the cloud are plenty — more storage, easy access, and if a device fails, none of your sensitive data is lost.

Let’s explore what the cloud is, how secure it is, and some security measures that you can use to protect your data in the cloud.

What Is the Cloud?

If you’ve ever used Google Drive or streamed a movie on Netflix, you’ve used the cloud. The cloud refers to any software or service that runs on the internet rather than your device.

Any data you store in the cloud is stored on servers belonging to third-party providers. Some popular cloud services companies include Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

One of the most significant benefits of the cloud is that you can access this data from just about anywhere with a solid internet connection. It’s convenient and secure, which is why so many people and businesses are making the switch to the cloud.

However, unless you’re an IT professional, you may not know the inner workings of the cloud, meaning you have questions about how secure cloud storage is.

Let’s discuss why the cloud is considered more secure than, say, keeping your files on a physical hard drive.

How Cloud Providers Protect Your Data

First and foremost, it’s important to note that no security system is entirely foolproof. However, the cloud offers robust security that makes it pretty challenging for hackers to get their hands on your data.

The good news is that third-party providers implement robust security measures to ensure their clients’ data is protected from would-be attackers. This comes when cybersecurity attacks are on the rise — so finding ways to mitigate the risks of facing a cybersecurity incident is all the more crucial.

Servers are usually located in large industrial warehouses to which third-party provider employees do not have access. Additionally, your data is encrypted, meaning it’s scrambled across different servers, so cybercriminals would have a harder time finding it.

So, why is the security so robust? Here are some of the characteristics of cloud computing that make it highly secure:

  • Security updates: Companies overseeing your cloud storage make consistent security updates to their software. These updates usually contain tools specifically designed to enhance security.
  • Auto-patching and AI: AI plays a significant role in cybersecurity. These tools use built-in algorithms to identify vulnerabilities and patch them before hackers exploit them.
  • Built-in firewalls: These “walls” act as barriers to cybercriminals. Hackers have a hard time slipping malware or viruses past a firewall.
  • Third-party security testing: Third-party cloud services providers will often hire outside companies to test their security measures to ensure hackers cannot easily access stored data.
  • Redundancy: Providers make copies of your data and store it across several different server locations, meaning you’ll be able to access data from a backup server if the provider experiences a power outage or hardware failure.

You may be wondering how you can exercise best practices regarding cybersecurity and using cloud services. Let’s discuss some of the measures you can take to protect your data while using cloud services.

3 Measures You Can Use to Secure Your Data

Some companies looking to boost their cloud security will use managed services. These services generally enlist IT professionals to help companies with their IT tasks and services. Here are a few things managed service providers will offer:

  • Infrastructure management
  • Security services
  • DevOps
  • Network operations center (NOC) services

While this may be a suitable option for businesses, how can you protect your data?

Below are some ways you can make your cloud data even more secure.

Use Data Encryption

As mentioned above, data encryption is another way to protect your data and keep it out of the hands of malicious hackers. It’s quite simple to encrypt your data on your Mac, PC, iPhone, or Android, and to decrypt it, you usually need to enter a password. Consider encryption if you want to take your data protection to the next level.

Perform Frequent Data Backups

Performing data backups is a good habit to form when using your various devices. Even if you use cloud services, it may be a good idea to consider backing up your data to a physical hard drive as well. Suppose, for some reason, you have issues with security through your provider. In that case, you’ll still be able to access your data safely.

Use Multi-factor Authentication

If you don’t know what multi-factor authentication (MFA) is, it’s essentially using more than one method to gain access to your accounts. This may include entering a password and entering a code sent to you on your smartphone. Even if a hacker steals your password, it would be extremely difficult for them to access your smartphone to steal the code they need. Consider using multiple authentication methods to protect your data.

The cloud is certainly a secure service, but following some of the tips listed above can help enhance the security of your data and avoid falling victim to a data breach.

Protecting Yourself and Your Data in the Cloud

While the cloud is becoming increasingly popular, there are some concerns about how safe it is to use the cloud. It’s normal to be concerned over how data is stored, if it’s protected, potential data loss, and being more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Third-party providers use the latest and greatest digital security tools to protect their clients. Consider using data encryption, performing data backups, and using MFA to further protect your data in the future.