How Secure is Cloud Storage?

Many businesses and home users are migrating all or part of their data to the cloud – but how secure is it?

The term “the cloud” essentially refers to any type of software or service that isn’t located locally on your computer, but is stored somewhere else and accessed through the internet. Gmail, Google Docs and Dropbox are notable examples that most of us will have used at some point. Cloud storage allows you to save space, while also giving you access to your data anywhere, as long as there’s an internet connection. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work from home, and remote working is made possible by the cloud. But with your documents, photos, videos and other files being stored remotely, how safe are they? As cloud storage becomes more common, it’s an increasing concern. The security of cloud services has been questioned, particularly against the backdrop of increased ransomware attacks during the course of the pandemic.  

It’s likely that your data will be more secure in a cloud provider’s datacentre than when stored on your own device, for two main reasons. First, servers are typically located in secure facilities, with few people having access. Second, files stored in the cloud are encrypted, making them useless without the decryption key.

However, the security procedures put in place by cloud providers aren’t an excuse to be lax with your own security. Password security is vital, as this is normally all that lies between any computer with an internet connection and your data. Back in 2014, multiple celebrities saw personal photos illicitly downloaded from Apple’s iCloud service. The breach wasn’t a “hack”, but a result of vulnerabilities in Apple’s password security system, allowing passwords and security questions to be guessed. Avoid using simple, easy-to-guess passwords, and definitely don’t use one related to your personal life. You should also avoid using the same password across multiple platforms.

In short, cloud providers utilise more complex security measures than the average user, making data stored in the cloud generally safer than locally stored data. Cloud providers encrypt data, and store servers in secure locations.

Cloud Storage