Are online cloud file storage services safe?
Dec 10, 2013
As organizations increasingly utilize online cloud services for file storage, many wonder about the safety of these systems. Although some services are inherently created to be safer than others, when users utilize certain security measures in conjunction with this technology, it radically boosts the data protection of online file storage systems.
Elements to investigate before implementation
Before deploying a cloud file storage system, administrators should examine certain aspects of the provider’s service and reputation before selecting the company as the cloud solution of choice.
Be cautious of free cloud storage options
First and foremost, experts advise utilizing a trusted, reliable service provider for online file storage as opposed to a free option. These options do not offer the same level of security and privacy as paid options do. Compare cloud cloud storage options and read the terms of service agreements carefully before buying them.
Study the reputation of cloud service providers
It is critically important to know who owns or has access to your data. Be sure to check news sources for recent data breaches, financial problems or other issues. Doing so can help you determine which are the most trusted companies on your list- and which to avoid. These problems can point to an unreliable service provider, and can help to shorten the list of providers in the running for file sharing solutions.
Using passwords and encryption to improve online file storage safety
One of the main aspects of data safety comes into play when creating and safeguarding passwords to access information in a cloud file storage solution. If the company’s file storage system requires password access, administrators should create one that is complex and difficult to figure out. Passwords should utilize a combination of numbers, upper- and lower-case letters and punctuation where applicable.
Avoid using a single and widely-used password
Administrators can utilize free online resources to check a password’s strength, which gives a statistical probability of how long it would take a hacker to decipher the passcode. When possible, organizations should implement individual passwords for each person accessing the cloud. This not only provides for data visibility (since administrators can tell by the password who is storing or viewing files in the cloud), but using multiple passwords is safer than using one company-wide password. A system with a single, widely used password can be more easily hacked and put an entire company’s data at risk.
Protecting data in the cloud with encryption solutions
Employees and administrators should also ensure that data is encrypted while it sits in the cloud file storage solution. Although many systems encrypt files while they are being transmitted to other users, some overlook encryption for stored files. A secure file storage system will have encryption in place for data stored in the cloud, which is what many hackers target. Because cybercriminals want as much information as they can leverage for the least amount of effort, they will usually attack the internal infrastructure of the file storage solution instead of the individual users themselves. This is why overarching encryption is important to protect data being stored.
Synced data should also be encrypted to protect information accessed by mobile users.