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How Secure is Cloud Storage? Here are the Important Risks to Know

Security concerns surrounding cloud computing cannot be ignored, as 96% of businesses have reported insufficient security for sensitive cloud data.

Much of the rapid digital transformation people have experienced since the start of the pandemic can be attributed to the rise of cloud storage. According to these projections, the $376.37 billion global market in 2029 will be an enormous increase from the current $83.41 billion.

While there are many ways in which cloud storage can improve efficiency, it is important to remember the serious threats it also presents.

These dangers have less to do with the technology itself and more to do with user behaviour. The risk of security problems grows in proportion to the number of services that can be made to work with these cloud storage spaces.

Like the rise of remote work, the rise of unsafe practises like storing sensitive data in uncontrolled cloud storage has raised concerns among security experts.

Such sloppiness could, for instance, lead to bad actors gaining unauthorised access to sensitive strategic data.

Since cloud storage has become an integral part of our daily lives, it is crucial to establish policies regarding its use in the workplace to mitigate any potential cyber security risks.

The Dangers to Your Computer Data in the Cloud

Providers of cloud storage have seen tremendous business growth thanks to the increased trust customers have in their safety. Almost all well-known cloud storage services implement stringent safeguards on their server infrastructure. Also, many retailers add extra layers of security to their solution by providing robust encryption, though the exact extent of this may vary by package or storage tier.

These services are safe, but they don’t offer full security against things like phishing.

Hackers now use the cloud to roll out phoney third-party cloud apps, tricking users into giving them access to their actual corporate cloud data and resources rather than just the credentials they were supposed to use to get in.

These kinds of attacks are fairly recent, and security researchers anticipate that they will increase.

Similar to other modern cyber security threats, APIs pose a significant potential vulnerability for cloud services due to their widespread use (Application Programming Interfaces).

Application programming interfaces facilitate inter-app communication and interaction over a network. Generally speaking, the safety of your cloud depends on the safety of the APIs you allow access to.

APIs provided by third parties are pervasive and create a large attack surface. It only takes one vulnerable application programming interface (API) for a hacker to gain control of your entire IT infrastructure.

New analysis from Netskope shows how vulnerable cloud service APIs can be.

Users at companies with 500+ employees, on average, gave permission to more than 440 outside apps to access their Google account information and functionality. An incredible 12,300 unique plugins were used to access the cloud by a single company. As many as 44 percent of the APIs that connected to Google Drive from outside sources were able to access all of a user’s data, including any that might be considered private.

Malware that infects files is another major threat to the cloud. The cloud’s file-syncing features make it simple for groups to work on projects from a variety of devices, but they also leave those systems open to infection from maliciously coded documents.

In most cases, cloud storage services will automatically synchronise the folders on your computer with the ones in the cloud. If you download a virus to your computer, it could potentially gain access to the company’s cloud and spread throughout the entire network.

Ransomcloud is an attack method used by cybercriminals to lock down information and cloud-based applications and demand payment from victims in exchange for unlocking them.

Precautions to Take When Using Cloud Storage

There will be a rise in both individual and business use of cloud storage services in the coming years, so it’s important to prepare for this growth by either implementing a plan or regularly reminding users to take the following precautions.

Do your data storage in the cloud.

Maintain order and safety by mandating that each user only accesses their data through a single, centrally managed cloud storage service. Be firm with your users and insist that they all subscribe to the service you’ve chosen.

Education about Phishing

Phishing attacks are dynamic and ever-evolving. There has been a rise in the number of attacks aimed at individuals’ use of cloud storage. Regularly remind your users that they shouldn’t open any links from an unknown sender, including those that appear to be from cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox.

The use of two separate authentication methods

Turning on two-factor authentication is a great way to stop hackers from getting in. It’s a preventative measure against users who haven’t yet implemented strong passwords, and it’s a shield against credentials being exposed by phishing attacks.

Applications from outside the core system

There are thousands of third-party applications that can sync with cloud storage accounts. The services themselves may have adequate cyber security measures, but the apps may not have been developed to the same degree of quality control. Thank goodness, all private cloud data storage platforms have admin options that protect users from potentially unsafe apps.

Data loss prevention and classification

Create policies and guidelines for the proper categorization and labelling of data, and make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to do with it. Data loss prevention technology is a powerful tool for ensuring the security of sensitive information, including strategic information.

Evaluating the Top Three Cloud-Based Services for Individual Data Storage

Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and Apple’s iCloud are the four most popular cloud storage services.

Keeping abreast of all services, even after settling on one for your business, is necessary in order to anticipate any problems that may arise if any of your employees decide to use a different service at home.

Internet-based storage space Google Drive

When it comes to individual cloud data storage, Google is unrivalled. The platform’s widespread free usage and seamless service integration mean that it is already well-known to its users.

That Google Drive is integrated into the larger Google ecosystem is both a boon and a bane. To put it simply, this platform makes teamwork and individual productivity simple. However, if your Google Drive is compromised, hackers can gain access to your email and even take over your Android phone.

Dropbox

When most people think of “personal cloud storage,” they think of Dropbox. Since then, they’ve introduced Dropbox Paper, an enhanced version of Google Docs that supports any kind of teamwork.

Before, Dropbox only cared about the customers. But they’ve made a pivot in recent years toward enterprise clients, and their admin features may surprise you.

OneDrive

A OneDrive account is automatically created for all Windows users. Most of your users are likely already familiar with it, and it works splendidly with Microsoft Office and a number of other programmes.

When compared to the competition, OneDrive has the most advanced security features. It also comes with a plethora of configuration options for the backend administration. The ecosystem’s impact can be more easily managed because, unlike with iCloud and Google, a breach is most likely to only affect a user’s computer.

iCloud

Like with OneDrive, iCloud accounts are automatically created for all Apple device owners. With iCloud, you can’t do as much customization on the back end, but you also can’t connect to other apps.

Just like with Google Drive, if someone manages to hack into your iCloud account, they can easily take over your iPhone.

Give your users some responsibility

However, while storing data in the cloud is typically a safe option, you shouldn’t become complacent. Some of the most serious threats to cloud computing stem from users’ actions, especially as the number of people working remotely and using multiple cloud services over unprotected networks continues to rise.

Effective cloud security guidelines are the first step in mitigating these dangers. Educating people well is now more important than ever when it comes to cyber security.

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