Security in the Cloud, Explained

October 6, 2021 | Security
cloud security on laptop

These days, it seems most every business has its head in the clouds, figuratively speaking. Platforms like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace are convenient tools that promote collaboration and efficiency across teams; and for family members who live in the same home or in different locations. As the programs we use and the files we save grow larger and more complex, fewer people save important items on their hard drive and opt for cloud storage instead. But how do you know your files are secure? Let’s walk you through cloud security. 

What is Cloud Storage?

A cloud storage service is basically a remote server hosted by a (hopefully) major company which keeps secure backups in case of accidental or catastrophic data loss. Essentially, a cloud is virtual storage space you can access from your computer to store all your important files so they don’t take up space on your hard drive. 

What is Cloud Security? 

Cloud security protects all the data and applications in your cloud from cyber attacks. Most cloud providers have cybersecurity safeguards, but not all of them may offer enough protection, especially if they don’t charge for their service. Some security firewalls might focus specifically on how things are running in the cloud while not necessarily focusing on the contents within, which is why it’s important to do your homework before signing on with a cloud service. 

 

Cloud security is vital for both businesses and everyday people at home on their personal computers. You want peace of mind knowing the information you store in the cloud is safe. 

Common Ways Hackers Infiltrate the Cloud  

A cyber criminal can take over your cloud account and have access to all of your sensitive data, pictures, and things you wouldn’t want a stranger to see. 

 

Data Breach. Hackers can access your personal information through a data breach. Not always, but it can happen. Most cloud storage services encrypt your data in the chances a hacker infiltrates their servers. Encryption means a hacker can’t read your data as it passes back and forth between your computer and a server. Hackers are always looking for ways to decode encrypted files, so though it’s rare, it has happened. 

 

Phishing. Hackers can trick you into providing your login information through phishing emails. You may receive emails that appear legitimate, like they’re from your cloud provider instructing you to create a new login and password. In reality, the email is a scam. Pay attention to the email address it came from and look for spelling errors, an extra letter or a punctuation in the alias that shouldn’t be there. Examine the body of the email and see if anything looks off, such as poor spelling and pixelated graphics. If the email seems suspicious, report it and route it to your spam filter. 

 

Hacking passwords. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but you should never use one password across all your accounts. If you use a cloud service where you enter a password to access your files, choose one that’s difficult for hackers to decipher. It’s also a good habit to set a reminder to change your password at least once a quarter.

Find a Reputable Cloud Storage Service 

With so many cloud storage services out there, which one should you trust with your data? Some popular cloud providers are Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon Web Services Storage, Microsoft OneDrive and Box

 

These providers share some common themes in common that you want to look for in a reputable cloud storage service: 

  • Ensure the service is from a large scale cloud facility. The bigger the company, the more likely it will have advanced security protocols in place to protect your data. Hackers typically target low hanging fruit, such as smaller companies that are easier to infiltrate. 
  • Find out the company’s security protocols in case they run into technical issues with their servers. For example, do they copy your data and store it on a backup server in case the main one fails or is breached?

 

We understand trusting a cloud service to protect your photos, images, videos and other important files can be a bit nerve-wracking. After all, what happens with them once they’re in another company’s safekeeping is literally out of your hands and not in your direct control. However, the data you save in a cloud is far more secure than sitting in your hard drive. If you’re interested in cloud storage but not sure where to start, or have concerns you want to run by us, we’re all ears and happy to help! Talk to any of our reputable technicians at My Computer Works and they can walk you through your equipment and the best solutions for you. 

 

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