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Cloud Data Security: How Secure Is Data Stored in the Cloud?

by | Jul 2, 2018 | IT Security, News

Cloud data storage is growing ever more popular, and as it grows so do concerns over cloud data security. There is no denying the convenience of storing data in the cloud: it can be accessed from anywhere, and we are still able to access data in the event of computers crashing as well as cutting IT costs and speeding up the operation of computer systems. However, do the benefits of cloud data outweigh the potential compromise of their security? In this article we explore how secure data is when it is stored in the Cloud.

What Are The Risks?

One of the biggest concerns about data stored in the cloud is that you are no longer in control of it. Storing your data in the cloud, you are entrusting another organisation to take care of your data. While each user’s data is encrypted with an individual encryption key, without which the data is unreadable and useless, it is uncommon for the user to have access to their own key. While this should not be a problem as, if someone else were to access your data without the key, they would not be able to take anything from it, you must first be sure that your cloud storage service provider will take sufficient steps to prevent the theft of encryption keys. In reality, someone could access your data without you even being aware.

Another concern regarding the security of data stored in the Cloud is cybercrime. This goes for large-scale ransomware that may break Cloud servers, such as last year’s WannaCry attack, as well as smaller-scale targeted malware. Such attacks don’t necessarily mean the contents of your data will be compromised, but rather your ability to access it. Though these attacks are rare, they are possible, and businesses should consider them a risk.

How Do Service Providers Protect Cloud-Stored Data?

Service providers do take their own steps to keep Cloud-stored data secure. International head of trust and security at Dropbox, Mark Crosbie says that Dropbox splits “each data file into chunks – a process called sharding” and “these chunks are then separately encrypted and stored in different places, so if someone did manage to break in and decrypt the data they’d only get access to random blocks.” On the other hand, Aaron Levie, chief executive of Box says that they ensure the security of data stored in the Cloud by sending a link to the file, rather than the file itself, which allows users to “preview the content without actually downloading the data.”

How to Maximise Cloud Security Yourself

In spite of these potential risks, there are ways in which you can maximise the security of your Cloud-stored data yourself . For example:

Read Your User Agreement Carefully

Are you aware of the agreements you are making when you sign up to store your data in the Cloud? Ensure that you read your user agreements carefully in order that you understand what you are signing up to. If having control of the encryption key is important to you, ensure that you choose a service provider that allows you to do so. It is wise to compare multiple user agreements so that you can be sure you are getting the best deal.

Encrypt Before You Upload

Yes, your data will be encrypted as it is uploaded to the Cloud, but adding an extra layer of encryption before the upload can maximise its security. This way, even if the Cloud encryption key falls into the wrong hands, you have another level of protection.

While there are steps you can take to increase the security of you Cloud-stored business data, you should remain highly aware of the potential risks.

With over 25 years industry experience, tier1 are proud to be the UK’s most accredited ITAD supplier. We possess the skills, accreditations and experience to handle our clients’ data with the care they deserve, and to dispose of it responsibility and legally.

Contact us today on 0161 777 1000 or visit https://www.tier1.com to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.

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