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Cloud Computing and Storage Security: Is Your Data Safe on the Cloud?

Saving pictures, documents, videos, reports on the hard drive of the computer? That trend has almost vanished. Today, people are saving their data on the cloud with applications such as Microsoft’s OneDrive, Apple’s iCloud, Google’s Google Drive and Dropbox.

There are multiple reasons why cloud is mostly preferred: unrestricted storage space, ease of use, and flexibility to access data from anywhere at any time. And this happens because the data on the cloud is stored or located on the servers hosted by third-party providers.             

With its promising benefits, many companies are increasingly turning to cloud computing. But often they have concerns about data security on the cloud. They might be concerned about the privacy of their data as cloud stores millions of user’s data online. They might be worried about what if provider’s servers will crash, causing all your mission-critical applications to a standstill.

Here is some reassurance: Data stored on cloud servers is always stored using some encryption techniques that first need to be cracked before any malicious attempt.

Why People are concerned about Cloud

At its most basic, the cloud refers to a software or service that is not located on your hard drive but instead runs on the internet. It is a kind of outsourced solution for saving data on network drives or internet servers. And what makes people concerned about cloud is that they do not own or control the server or system where their data is being stored. So, keeping the information safe is completely dependent on cloud service providers.

Cloud Storage Risks

Cloud security is robust, but it is not unbreakable. Cybercriminals can intervene into the data by means of cracking security questions or bypassing passwords. So, one of the major challenges with cloud storage is privacy. Even if the data is not stolen by the attacker, it can be viewed and used for deceitful purposes.

From security loopholes to support issues, there are several risks associated while migrating data and storing data to the cloud.

Cyber Attacks

One of the reasons why people are so much worried about migrating or saving data to the cloud is the increasing number of cyberattacks against data storage environments every year. The most frightening thing is the vulnerability to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which attempts to destroy the normal traffic of a targeted server. This is particularly challenging on the cloud, where massive amounts of data is stored by different types of users in the same cloud environment.

Lack of control

Unlike a datacenter, which is run by the in-house IT department, the cloud is a remote server where users outsource their data or computing needs to a third-party service provider. The provider offers updates and performs all maintenance activities. The biggest concern here is someone else has complete access to your data and they are in charge of keeping it safe.

Insider Threats

Just as cyberattacks seem like a sharp spike, security breaches from inside are also causing a bigger risk to organizations. Remember the Vodafone's security breach which put 2 million users record at stake and the Edward Snowden breach that were happened due to insider privileged user access. Once an employee takes control over data or gives other permission, everything from customer data to confidential information is being compromised.

Not all Cloud Storage Providers are Same

Considering all the risks, it is natural to worry about your data when it is saved remotely. After all, your mission-critical applications, reports, files are being stored on a server that is off premise. You might wonder how susceptible and sensitive these distributed servers are to cyber attackers.

Here is the truth: Different cloud storage service providers employ different security controls and measures to secure your data on the cloud. The way that a provider who specialized in data storage will be different from a full cloud service provider company that offers data storage, infrastructure-as-a-service, software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and other cloud-based services.

The security measures undertaken by cloud computing service providers are likely to be more robust, secure and powerful as compared to the local drive of your computer. To keep data secure, the big cloud players use standardized encryption methods to conceal cloud-protected information. They follow organization-wide security policies related to data security to prevent malicious attempts.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Cloud storage works by storing data on off premise servers. The data stored on cloud can be maintained, managed, backed up consistently and accessed from anywhere. Besides the accessibility aspect, data stored over the cloud network is extremely safe and secure. 

Given below is a list of advantages that cloud offer to your business.

Cost-Efficient

Cloud is generally more affordable service as cloud vendors distribute the costs of their off premise infrastructure across multiple businesses. Moving or migrating data to the cloud can cut down the expenses incurred on managing hardware and resources. Removing such capital expenditure can result in huge cost savings.

Security

Security is the topmost concern for every business whether it is big or small. What makes cloud storage safe is that your data is saved across redundant servers. That means if one of the data centers gets blocked, your data will be backed up on the other server, which makes your data safe. The other aspect is your data on cloud servers is encrypted. This means the data is scrambled into some form of coding, which makes it harder for cyber attackers to crack.   

Scalable Service

Cloud storage is scalable and flexible, which means whenever the current computing capabilities run short, you can upgrade the plan with more computing and storage power. And the important thing is you need not to move your data from one place to another, extra space will be added to your existing storage environment.

For instance, XPO Logistics, an end-to-end logistics provider, was struggling with its legacy system and needed a scalable solution to modernize its process. The application modernization on cloud has enabled the organization to pick up the pace of 30 thousand plus deliveries of ecommerce goods on a daily basis across the US geography efficiently.

AI Tools and Auto Patching

Cloud vendors are utilizing AI tools to help protect data from vulnerabilities and attacks. It is not easy to find experienced security consultants to look after your data every minute. Many reputed cloud providers though can instead employ AI to tackle the first level of security analysis. AI tools are built-in algorithms that identify possible forging attempts in security measures.

Convenient

With cloud, you can access your data from any part of the world. The data is synchronized in a way that when you make any changes, all the changes will be visible across devices which are synced with that storage service or network. You do not need any expertise to run the service. All the heavy processing is done by the cloud vendor. 

For example, Shorts TV, the biggest license holder and distributor of short films, has made its platform convenient for viewers to watch movies across a variety of devices. The application is integrated with Ooyala (a provider of cloud video technology) to provide high resolution videos.

Cloud security is robust

Yes, your data is relatively safe on the cloud when accompanied by secured encryption standards and policies. Cloud providers today are relying on firewalls to help protect your mission-critical data. They are making consistent security updates to protect devices from the latest malware and viruses. In addition, you are given flexibility, accessibility, and convenience to maintain your data.

No matter whether you are a big company or a small organization, you need cloud service to store data because data is the backbone of your great empire. Today, tech behemoths are investing in the cloud industry because cloud has the potential to transform the complete structure of storage, collaboration, and communication organization wide.

If you are looking forward to data migration or legacy system modernization to the cloud, get in touch with us. Our cloud experts will assist you in building the road map to your application migration project to boost process efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

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