Is Data Safe on the Cloud?
Updated: Jun 22
Most of us understand what happens when we save documents, videos, and photos on our hard drives. What was once considered newfangled technology has become an everyday occurrence. Or so we think. These days, most of us save flies on the cloud, even if we aren’t even aware of it.
Many businesses have seamlessly switched to cloud computing without the majority of their employees even realizing it. If you’ve used Google Docs, streamed videos or movies, sent an email, or stored images online, you’ve used cloud services. It’s just something we take for granted, just like we learned to take for granted file storage on PCs. What isn’t taken for granted by businesses and organizations that use cloud services is cloud data security.
There are many benefits to storing files and data in the cloud — storage space hosted off-site by third-party providers. It keeps your computer free of clutter, so it has more space to run. And if your laptop, tablet, or smartphone crashes, your files will still be accessible if saved on the cloud. It takes a very long time to use up all the storage space on the cloud.
If you are unfamiliar with how the cloud works, especially for businesses, you may have some concerns about data security on the cloud, including data protection, security threats, and the possibility of data loss. You may be concerned that all the reports, videos, and images stored in the cloud might be defenseless against data breaches and hackers breaking into a cloud provider’s servers. Or you may be worried that your cloud service provider’s servers will crash, and you’ll lose all your business’s data.
With cloud computing being relatively new and the concept still being releatively fuzzy in most people’s minds, these concerns are not surprising. It may surprise and reassure you to know that data stored in the cloud is most likely more secure than that stored on personal devices. Cloud service companies generally rely on extremely robust cybersecurity measures to protect their customers’ information.
What Are the Security Benefits of Cloud Computing?
It’s understandable that businesses would be worried about cloud data security. After all, all your business information is stored on cloud infrastructure that is not under your control. This makes many businesses wonder how vulnerable cloud infrastructure is to cyber threats.
However, data stored on cloud servers is generally safer than information saved on your computer’s hard drive. Hackers can use phishing emails and malware to get information off of personal devices. They may freeze your computer so that you cannot access your data and demand a ransom to unfreeze it. With so many people using personal devices for business these days, this is an increasing risk.
The security protocols used by cloud service providers are generally more robust and powerful than the security on your home computer and personal devices. This makes the data security from using the cloudless likely to be penetrated.
Here’s a quick look at the benefits of cloud computing security solutions:
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are an increasing threat. One of the major security benefits of cloud computing is its DDoS absorption capabilities and real-time scanning that identifies and prevents or mitigates DDoS attacks.
It takes a lot to stay ahead of the ever-increasing threats of data breaches. Cloud computing solutions have security protocols in place to keep sensitive information and transactions safe. This keeps third parties from tampering with or eavesdropping as data is transmitted.
Ensuring business continuity is one of the primary reasons businesses choose cloud computing services. We live in a 24/7 world, especially for eCommerce, so most businesses need 24/7 support of their core business assets so that their website and applications are globally functional. Cloud computing security incorporates real-time support, 24/7/365 live monitoring of business assets, and built-in redundancies to the business’s website and applications remain functional in the event of an attack.
Businesses like cloud computing because of the flexibility it gives them to scale up or down depending on their business needs. A cloud computing solution offers security irrespective of whether you are turning your business capacity up or down.
Financial institutions and eCommerce businesses face a greater degree of governmental and industrial compliance and regulation checks. Cloud computing security solutions provide a highly compliant infrastructure that protects business and consumer data.
How Does Cloud Security Work?
Now that we’ve covered the significant security benefits of cloud computing, you may wonder why cloud storage is so safe. The service is often located in warehouses that most workers can’t access, so there is a low chance of tampering with the equipment. And the files that are on these servers are encrypted, which makes them difficult for cybercriminals to access. They are also protected by several security protocols.
Consistent Security Updates
Would you be surprised to learn that many, if not most, ignore the notifications to update the operating system, browser, or email service? Sure, they can be annoying, and they always seem to come when you are shutting down your computer at the end of the day. But in the computer security world, ignoring these notifications is not recommended. The updates often contain security updates that protect your devices from malware and viruses.
With cloud data security, the companies that oversee the servers consistently update the security measures, so you don’t have to worry about ignoring those update notifications. Your cloud computing security solutions provider will regularly update their security measures.
Cloud security solutions providers depend on firewalls to protect your information. This technology serves as a wall that keeps your information safe. Firewalls can be software- or hardware-based and apply rules to the traffic that comes through a network. The rules filter out suspect traffic and secure your information behind the wall, making it harder for hackers to sneak viruses or malware past the security measures put in place by cloud servicer providers.
AI Tools and Auto-Patching
With the experienced security professionals hard to come by, cloud providers turn to artificial intelligence (AI) to help protect data. They use AI to take on the first level of security analysis. These AI programs use built-in algorithms to find and identify possible weaknesses in the security measures.
Extra Redundancies Built In
That may all sound good, but what if there is a power outage or hardware failure. These things are hard to predict, and you may wonder if your data will be safe and accessible if there is a large-scale power outage or natural disaster.
Part of cloud computing is the practice of redundancy. Cloud computing providers regularly copy your information and store it on different servers. If a server crashes or goes down, you can get your information from the backup server.
Security Testing by a Third-Party
Cloud providers often hire third-party companies to test the security of their servers and software. This helps ensure their systems are safe from cybercriminals, hackers, and the latest viruses and malware. Outside testing increases the chances that cloud providers have the defense required to keep data safe from hackers.