If you have saved and transferred documents on Google Drive, you have used a cloud storage service, saved your photos in Dropbox, or downloaded your favorite music on iTunes. Also, online streaming services and email sending services such as Yahoo and Gmail are examples of other cloud storage services.
Cloud storage has grown to become the most reliable means of storing critical data away from onsite storage options, especially in the modern-day where internal network and server cyberattacks can happen at any time. Today, a large number of firms and organizations rely on cloud storage to store crucial data for its convenience and adaptability.
While cloud storage is safer and more reliable, the security of data stored in the cloud is still a great concern to most people. That is because, just like any other data storage option, cloud storage can have security vulnerabilities that are easy to take advantage of.
Here is everything you need to know about cloud storage threats and how to mitigate them.
Security Threats facing cloud service users
Poor access management
With access being the key to cloud storage services, access management has grown to become a significant security threat for cloud storage. In 2016, LinkedIn was hacked, causing a significant data breach that includes more than 164 million user accounts.
Some of the reasons for this successful hack were poor crisis management, lack of preparedness for users, and ineffective information campaign. There is also word that Google and Facebook store user credentials in plaintext, which makes it easy for hackers to access and use for malicious activity.
Data leak and breach
A data breach is an event where data or information is extracted or accessed without authorization. When a data breach occurs, it goes to show a company’s negligence in addressing flaws in their cloud storage service.
Once a data leak and breach occur, the information the hackers access is held at ransom, where the company is asked to pay to get back control of the data. When the ransom is not paid, the hacker can decide to sell the information on the dark web.
Even with the best crisis management, sometimes the consequence of a data breach is usually a damaged company reputation, legal charges, and loss of clients.
How users can secure their cloud storage
Use of multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentications or 2FA is a security measure that requires anyone accessing a cloud data service to use more than one security protocol to log in. On top of their regular login credentials, an authorized user is required to use a one-time disposable key sent to their private device to access the server.
With multi-factor authentication, hackers cannot access a cloud data server even with a compromised user ID and password.
It is essential to anyone using a cloud service to store critical data to ensure the data at rest or data in motion is encrypted. A VPN service is the best bet for guaranteeing data encryption to and from the cloud. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) also protects data in the system by making it appear jumbled, making it unreadable to third parties.
It can also be used to protect datasets, databases, and logs, among other types of critical company data, since it creates a secure perimeter wall or tunnel, whether on a public or private network, guaranteeing secure data traffic in and out of the system.
Improved data access management
Having a clear access management protocol ensures that information is availed on a need-to-know basis for different cloud storage users. For instance, your marketing department does not need access to accounting or quality assurance files. Therefore, you can limit their access to information related to their line of work.
The majority of the world nowadays uses cloud storage services. Hopefully, if you were not already aware of the issues mentioned in this article, you are now. Looking into the security threats users are facing when using cloud storage services and implementing the ways to secure them is in today’s world a necessity.
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