Does Cloud Storage Really Safeguard Your Files
The days of storing all of your documents, pictures, and music on the hard drive of your computer are quickly coming to an end. The constant need for extra storage capacity to retain all of your digital assets is being helped by cloud storage today. But is all of your personal information secure online? We must look at two things in order to respond to this question. We must first decide what data security entails. Do files need to be completely encrypted on the storage device, or is password access to the storage sufficient? You'll have some control over that, but everyone should be aware of these crucial security considerations:
- Hackers can steal passwords. Passwords are still secure despite this; they are only susceptible to dictionary and brute force attacks, as shown in our essay on how hackers operate. If you select a cloud storage option that requires a password to access your data, pick a password that's challenging to crack using dictionary attacks, and update it frequently to lessen the likelihood that brute force attempts will succeed.
- On the way, data can be collected. Fortunately, the majority of storage services will encrypt the data during the back and forth transfer, rendering it hard to read even if the files are captured. In the address bar of your browser, search for "https" in place of "http" if your cloud storage use a Web application. This extra "s" denotes secure HTTP, which is what the form is utilizing. Check to see if the standalone cloud storage application you have installed on your PC encrypts all of its Internet communications.
- In terms of hacking, people are more hazardous than computers. Never reveal your password to anyone, not even a person posing as a technical support representative. Social engineering, which involves building trust between a hacker and a user so that the latter is willing to divulge personal information, is one of the largest security risks. Keep in mind that when you contact actual technical support personnel, they will likely not ask you for your password and will just need basic identifying information from you.
- Hackers typically want to obtain the most data with the least amount of work. This indicates that rather than target specific individuals, they will probably target the core of a cloud storage service. Therefore, you should look for a service provider with a solid track record of protecting the accounts and data of its customers.
- Your data may occasionally be subject to search and seizure by regional governmental bodies. Any cloud storage provider might receive a subpoena in the US, for instance, ordering them to make their clients' data available for government review.
We also need to examine cloud storage companies to see which ones are taking the most precautions to protect your information. Next, let's examine the data protection practices of the top cloud storage companies and discuss some suggestions for picking a secure cloud storage service.
Cloud Storage Options
Consider what you want to save and how you need to access it before beginning your search for a cloud storage provider for your files. Additionally, decide how crucial it is to maintain the security of that information. For instance, you might be more concerned about data security if you're storing sensitive information about your health history or household finances than if you were, say, saving music files from CDs you've ripped. The following are some safety attributes to look for when shopping:
- A business known for its superior physical and network security
- To prevent data loss in the event of a single disk or server failure, there are numerous levels of redundancy for your data.
- Redundancy across several geographic sites, ensuring that even if a natural calamity destroys your data in one place, it is still accessible in another area.
- How long it takes to remove a file from the redundant cloud servers, or even if the file is ever fully removed
When it comes to end-user storage services, cloud security hasn't been as strict as it has been for enterprise-level clouds. Because of this, even the best cloud storage services that are available to you have certain weaknesses. Although most consumers presumably won't be too concerned about these vulnerabilities, they should be taken into consideration if you want to keep sensitive personal data. Just a few instances include the following:
Amazon Cloud Drive
When it comes to accessibility across platforms and ease of use, Amazon rivals Dropbox. A risk to your security is one that Amazon is also upfront about. In its user agreement, Amazon Cloud Drive states that it has the right to access your files and reveal account information in order to provide help and make sure that the terms of the agreement are being followed. The main reason the Cloud Drive supports MP3 streaming is to uphold music copyright laws. You'll have to forgo the media file streaming option and use a third-party encryption program for all the data you synchronize to the Cloud Drive in order to protect those files.
For the majority of users, Dropbox is straightforward and adequate, encrypting your data as it travels over the Internet. However, because of its simplicity, there were a few security gaps. First, it gave its users control over local authentication protection. You are in charge of controlling access to your local computer as all it takes to sign in from another computer is a copy of your Dropbox configuration file. The names of your files are also left in plain text by Dropbox. You can choose to encrypt and decrypt the data in the local folder you're synchronizing using a third-party security program in order to safeguard filenames and prevent unauthorized access to that material without your additional decryption keys.