With the growing importance of data for businesses and rapid digitalization, cloud adoption has gained significant importance. Businesses are preferring cloud storage to have storage space freedom and better data accessibility. Besides businesses, individuals are also preferring to store their personal data in the cloud. Cloud storage does not just give access to data from anywhere at any time, but it also acts as a reliable data backup medium. Compared to local backup, the cloud backup service provides more surety that data remain backed up no matter the situation. But when cloud technology is trending everywhere, there are also concerns about how secure and reliable it is. The number of data breaches and cyber-attacks is on the rise for the best few years, so it doubts the security of online data storage.
How Secure is Cloud Storage?
It is normal to think about whether your data will be secure in a cloud infrastructure that is not controlled by you. All your files and sensitive data are stored in a server at a remote location, so how vulnerable is that server to cyber-attacks.
The bitter truth is that data stored in cloud servers is probably safer than your own hard drives, servers, and network drives. Cyber-attacks can use the common tactics of phishing emails and malware to get access to your on-premises data. But well-reputed cloud storage services usually have set up a sophisticated, advanced, and regularly updated security infrastructure that makes it quite challenging for cyber-attackers to breach. Some of the other factors that showcase the security and reliability of cloud storage are as follow:
Cloud storage services are serving multiple users at the same time, so there are chances that some users are trying to penetrate the system. But most of the cloud security systems have set up multiple detection levels that can help to detect intruders even if they have breached the first network defense layer.
Just like others, cloud services also use firewalls. A firewall acts as a security wall that plays a major role in protecting data. Firewalls can be software- or hardware-based systems that implement rules on all the traffic and help to filter the vulnerable traffic. A well-established firewall system makes it impossible for hackers to install viruses or malware.
Artificial Intelligence based Security
AI is revolutionizing every sector and cloud storage is not an exception to it. Cloud storage services are also aggressively utilizing AI technology in their cloud security systems. As security analysis requires proper analytical skills, so AI acts as a virtual machine that helps in such analytical jobs. AI programs are developed with algorithms that can perform sophisticated analysis on the traffic and identify any possible vulnerabilities. Big online backup services have set up highly-trained AI models that make it quite difficult for cyber-attackers to breach through the security defense.
If you are storing data on-premises, then a natural disaster, hardware failure, software malfunction, and similar other situations result in complete data loss. So, you might expect the same with cloud storage providers. But this is where cloud storage showcases its reliability. The majority of the cloud storage providers perform multiple backups of the data you have stored in their cloud data center. Without bothering you, your cloud-stored data is backed up in more than one server at different locations. So, if one server goes down, you will still have access to the data from the other server. In addition, some cloud service providers even send an external hard drive containing the backup copy so that you can also keep a local backup copy.
Regular Security Updates
There is no such concept as a one-time security measure. Cyber-attackers are always working on developing new tactics and tools to breach through security walls. Therefore, cloud storage services are regularly performing security updates. Security professionals continuously test cloud security systems, keep an eye on trending threats, and implement security patches continuously.
Encryption is one simple but highly effective way to safeguard any data. If data is encrypted, then hackers won’t be able to do any kind of damage. Cloud storage services usually encrypt the data before storing it in the cloud. So, when you are uploading your individual files or other data to the cloud, it automatically gets encrypted. No matter whether it’s an initial backup or subsequent backups, all the data gets encrypted. Similarly, when you restore data via a web interface or other method, it is first decrypted and then returned to you. Some cloud storage services even provide encryption key to the users, which makes them the only ones to have access to the data. In short, data encryption is one highlighting cloud security measure that is absent in the case of local storage.
Cloud storage services also ensure the top-level physical security of their data centers. Most of them involve fingerprint locks, continuous monitoring, and other mandatory security measures. Compared to on-premises protection carried out by businesses, the physical security of cloud services is far more advanced.
Third-Party Security Testing
To ensure robust security, some cloud storage services also hire third-party security firms to test out their servers and other infrastructure. Such security firms are specialized in finding loopholes and other vulnerabilities in the cloud infrastructure that can be used by hackers. They test out internal cloud systems, web interface, mobile app, and might also act as a user to test out loopholes in services, such as sharing files, file sync, file versions, etc. All such testing activities ensure that the cloud infrastructure is at its top security level and all required defenses are properly set up.
Cloud storage is undoubtedly the best storage solution for businesses and individuals. The access of data from anywhere via computer or mobile device and the possibility of unlimited storage space is making it the mandatory digital need. But just like its benefits, it also ensures top-notch security measures. The above points present how cloud service providers ensure data security. All it takes is to choose the best cloud storage service that ensures top-level security and provides state-of-the-art features.