Cloud computing is definitely a revolution in the world of internet technology. It has made new things possible and has helped many save both time and energy. In return, costs have gone down. The cloud has drastically improved the way businesses and consumers store and manage important files. Eliminating the need for physical storage, it can save a significant amount of space on your hard drive.
However, while the cloud does offer a lot of benefits, it can also pose significant security threats. It is common knowledge that everything has a bright side and a dark side. The cloud is no exception, because there are several concerns – especially when it comes to the issue of safety. Since the mechanisms of the cloud are controlled by unseen people in unknown locations, there is genuine fear about the safety of your files. If you plan on using the cloud for work or leisure, here are some security do’s and don’ts you should absolutely follow.
Public (free) vs. Private (paid) Cloud Access
There are two variations of the cloud. One is free and the other one offers paid access. So, what’s the difference? Well, the free version is a public cloud, whereas the paid subscriptions give you private access. The free version is often recommended to most users, with an upgrade to paid, and more space, offered. However, even if you’re only using the cloud for personal rather than business use, it could still be worth paying for private access. This is much more secure and keeps your personal information away from prying eyes.
Two Main Safely Concerns
There are two major loopholes when it comes to cloud safety.
Unauthorized Access: First, you would be worried about hackers or access to your information by illegal or unauthorized persons. This can lead to compromise of classified or private information; all your data should be private. Hackers can capitalize from your data or the data can be used to cripple your business.
Malfunctioning Hardware: The second type of concern is the malfunction of the infrastructure by the cloud storage services. There are a few companies, such as Ma.gnolia, that have collapsed, losing vital client data forever.
There is no question that these concerns are real. However, the answer to safety lies with the cloud service provider. Before you register a free account or hire the services of a cloud storage company, read about their terms and conditions. In fact, ask about these safety concerns.
Even with the paid cloud subscriptions, the level of security provided can differ. The best ones to go with are those which utilize several layers of protection. The more security the cloud provider supplies, the safer your information and files will be. There are even some providers who require credential verification between your data and access point.
There are a lot of cloud providers out there and no two are the same. Therefore, you’ll want to avoid simply signing up to the first provider you come across.
Do your research to see what each provider offers. Take a look at online reviews to see what others have to say. These often reveal how easy to use the platform is, whether it’s worthwhile and whether there are any downsides you need to be aware of.
Comparing providers will ensure you make the best choice to match your storage needs. Most importantly, you should look to see who else will have access to the things you store and how data can be retrieved.
You will be amazed at some of the safety policies out there. Just in case data was compromised or lost, the company must have a cause of action that is supposed to remedy your problem. Many companies will state that their safety policies are top-notch and that there is no fear whatsoever of such happenings.
Obviously, it is not enough to just hear the words; you need to be protected in writing. So yes, the fears pertaining to safety are very real – make sure you are covered in the contract or agreement you sign just before you get access to their services.
You want to work with a cloud service provider that stores a backup copy of all your data. In addition, you need to know what procedures to follow in case something bad was to happen and your data was compromised. With this assurance and knowledge, it is much better to operate in a cloud. It is always wise to work with companies that have been seen to perform better in this area, though. Not every cloud storage service is worth considering.
Don’t Move Everything to the Cloud
Finally, while the cloud does offer convenient storage, it is important not to use it for everything. Make sure some information is stored away from the cloud just in case the worst does happen and a hacker gains access to your files.
Not everything can be moved to the cloud anyway. Some applications need to be extensively modified before they are able to be incorporated there. So, don’t see it as an all-in-one storage solution.
You should also make sure your passwords are secure and difficult to hack.
In life, there are no guarantees and in this regard, you need to be prepared with an assurance from the cloud service provider. Also, be very keen and conduct a thorough research and know what the law in your area says about cloud safety. And do not just stop there. The country where the dedicated private servers are stored will have certain laws governing the operations; seek to find out whether you can find proper reprieve if anything goes wrong in a different location.
Is cloud computing safe? Cloud computing has its own flaws or downsides and despite all the benefits, there is deep concern about safety. It is not perfect or foolproof and to avoid suffering the consequences of cloud insecurity, be proactive to make sure that you have a plan B or that you know where to turn if anything goes seriously wrong. A plan B can be keeping your own personal backup of all your data. I personally use external hard drives to back up most of my data. And I make more than one copy, in case of hardware failure. It is worth adding that cases of hacking and loss of databases in clouds is rare, but it can happen.
These are some of the most important dos and don’ts when looking into cloud security. While the cloud is mostly secure, there are different levels of protection out there. Therefore, it’s important to compare your options and ensure you are choosing a reliable provider.