Using the cloud for file storage has a lot of advantages. It makes it easy to access your files from anywhere, can save you if you have a hard drive crash, and makes migrating from an old computer to a new computer setup much easier.
But there is trepidation by some users about how safe their files actually are when they’re stored in the cloud. What happens if the cloud service isn’t available or has a problem? And what about a data breach?
Can you trust that your files will be safe with a cloud service?
There are a few things to consider when it comes to the safety of the cloud. One is where the cloud vendor’s capabilities ends, and user responsibility begins.
For example, if you’re using a cloud storage system like Dropbox that is meant to sync files with your computer. If you overwrite one of those files, then that change will also be made in the cloud storage version. The vendor can’t keep you from making mistakes that might cause you to lose data.
Another consideration is the cloud provider’s security. Do cloud or on-premises files get breached more? We’ve got the answer below along with other details on cloud safety and how trustworthy the cloud is for file storage.
On My Computer or In the Cloud, Which is Safer?
One thing many people wonder is whether their data is safer just staying on their computer or on-premises server than it is trusting a 3rd party cloud provider with it. Cloud vendor hard drives can also crash and are also susceptible to data breaches.
It turns out, that as far as data breaches are concerned, your data is much safer in the cloud. The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report found that of the 3,950 data breaches studied from 2019:
- 24% involved cloud assets
- 70% involved on-premises assets
Statistically, your data is more secure in a cloud account than sitting on a server at your office. But, it’s not completely impervious to a breach.
A good analogy for comparing the security of data stored on your computer with data stored in the cloud is to think of your local bank. The money you keep in the bank has added safeguards that most people or businesses couldn’t afford, like a huge bank vault. Banks aren’t protected 100% from being robbed, but your money is most likely safer there than if you stored thousands of dollars under your bed.
Cloud account providers take precautions to secure your data that most offices and individuals don’t have the means to take, similar to the precautions banks take with your money.
What Type of Safety Do Cloud Providers Use?
We’ll look at Microsoft’s security as an example of the types of precautions that most cloud providers take. They use multiple protections to keep user data safe from loss and from being compromised.
These safeguards include:
- Security control integrated into the hardware and firmware
- Protections against cyberattacks
- 3,500 global cybersecurity experts work on safeguards
- Redundancies built into the system
- Physical on-site security (guards, cameras)
- Data encryption
- Continual testing and monitoring of the network
How to Protect Yourself from Cloud Data Loss
While cloud services may be like the “bank” for your data, it doesn’t mean you can just trust cloud services with everything. As a user, you also have responsibilities for protecting your cloud data from being lost.
Use Credential Security & MFA
Of those 24% of data breaches that happened in the cloud, 77% were due to compromised user logins. Credential theft is a major problem and one that hackers have been concentrating their efforts on.
Your cloud accounts can be hacked if your login credentials aren’t secure. This means ensuring you use good password habits and tools like multi-factor authentication (MFA), which is proven to stop a majority of fraudulent account breaches (as many as 100% in some cases).
BackUp Your Cloud Data
You need to have a backup copy of all your cloud data, rather that just trusting it will always be there when you need it. Things like ransomware attacks or even accidental or malicious deletion by an insider can cause you to lose data kept in a cloud account.
Microsoft’s Services Agreement recommends that you backup all your cloud data from their services in a 3rdparty backup service, stating:
“In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored. We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”
Understand Security Configurations
Misconfiguration of security settings is a common cause of data leakage or breaches. The larger the cloud platform, the more security settings you’ll have, and this can confuse many administrators.
It’s best to get help from an IT pro when configuring your cloud account settings to ensure you haven’t left your data exposed. This is something we can easily help you with via remote support.
Use the Cloud Wisely by Having an Expert Guide
Two River Computer can help you or your New Jersey business take full advantage of the security of the cloud without making common mistakes that can leave your data at risk.
Contact us today to learn more. Call 732-747-0020 or reach us online.