Cloud storage offers a convenient solution for saving data without taking up valuable storage space on your PC, smartphone, and other devices. It also provides a secure and straightforward way for businesses to keep data securely online while allowing others to access it from anywhere at any time as long as they’re granted permission.
But what is cloud storage, and how does it work? What are the most significant security threats facing cloud service users, and how can you keep the data in your cloud service safe and secure? This guide will answer all those burning questions and more.
What is Cloud Storage, and How is it Used?
Chances are you’ve heard of popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box. Maybe you or the business you work for even use one of them. But have you ever stopped to think about how these services work?
Cloud storage is based on virtual storage infrastructure. This infrastructure relies on metered resources, accessible interfaces, multi-tenancy, and near-instant elasticity, and scalability. Data is stored, backed up, managed, and maintained on these remote storage systems through logical pools that are spread across disparate storage servers typically located in a data center and managed by a third-party cloud provider.
The Biggest Security Threats Facing Cloud Service Users
While cloud storage is considered one of the safest and most secure ways to store data, it’s not without its risks. The biggest cybersecurity threats that cloud storage services face include:
- Hijacking accounts
- Data breaches
- Insider threats
- Denial of service (DDoS attacks)
- Insecure applications
- Inadequate training
Most of these threats can be minimized or avoided altogether if you know how to use and secure your cloud storage properly.
How to Secure Your Cloud Storage
The following tips offer some of the easiest and most effective solutions for securing your cloud storage. Follow them to keep your data protected.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the simplest and most effective security measures you can take to secure the data stored in your cloud storage service. Most cloud storage providers have security settings built in that allow you to enable MFA, and most of them recommend that you do so as soon as you set up your account.
Enabling MFA for cloud storage is like locking your front door when you leave your house. You’re the only one who has the key, and most people would have a very difficult time entering your home without one.
When MFA is enabled, you’ll be prompted to enter a security code that’s auto-generated and sent to another device or account of your choice. In addition to entering your login credentials, you’ll be required to enter this secure code, which changes upon each login. Enabling MFA ensures that even if someone does get the account login information, they won’t be able to enter the security code unless they have access to the account it gets sent to.
Use a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and using one offers the highest level of safety and security for everything from browsing the internet to using cloud storage services.
You can use a VPN for a secure connection to your cloud storage. When you use a VPN with cloud computing, you’re essentially creating a secured tunnel that leads to the data stored in the cloud. If your cloud storage service provider doesn’t already offer a way to create a VPN gateway, the data in your cloud will be safe as long as you use a VPN to connect to the internet on the devices you use to access the cloud.
While most cyberattacks come from outside of a business, they often occur due to negligence or lack of training within the company. For example, suppose your business relies on cloud storage services for keeping and accessing data. In that case, you must conduct proper employee training to ensure that everyone on the staff understands how to manage the cloud storage safely and securely. Set up regular sessions to ensure that everyone stays up-to-date with new features and addresses any potential issues.
Follow the tips above to make the most of your cloud storage service while ensuring that your data is kept safe and sound.