researchHQ’s Key Takeaways:
- As cloud adoption continues to soar, concerns persist about the privacy and security of data stored within the cloud.
- Simple best practices such as regular backups and data encryption help individuals secure their data in the cloud.
- With 40% of corporate data breaches resulting from employee errors, improper use is the biggest concern facing cloud data protection.
The cloud has become the standard for data storage. Just a few years ago, individuals and businesses pondered whether or not they should move to the cloud. This is now a question of the past. Today, the question isn’t whether to adopt cloud storage but rather how.
Despite its rapid pace of adoption, there are some lingering concerns around cloud storage. Perhaps the most persistent issue is the matter of cloud data security. With as much critical data as there is stored on the cloud, and with a “nebulous” grasp on exactly how it’s stored and who has access, how can people be sure it’s safe?
Growing cloud usage
Cloud usage has exploded in recent years. Five years ago, global cloud traffic was at 3,851 exabytes, a number which has since skyrocketed to more than 16,000 exabytes. As the functionality and connectivity of the Internet grows, cloud traffic will likely increase with it.
People store a vast amount of information on the cloud. It’s not just businesses hosting IT operations or client data on these platforms anymore. Individuals use services like OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud to store everything from tax documents to family photos.
With all this data so easily accessible on the cloud, privacy and data protection become more prevalent concerns. Where exactly is the data going and who can see it? If someone can access all of their documents, pictures and contacts instantly from their phone, can hackers just as easily obtain this information? There are more than 1 billion cloud users today who, if they don’t already know, should be asking themselves these questions and learning how to keep their cloud data private and secure.
Securing cloud data
Cloud storage may seem like a security threat at first glance, but it can offer superior security over other methods for businesses. So, what about individuals? By taking the right steps towards careful cloud usage, people can be sure their data is safe.
Keep local backups
The first step in cloud data protection is locally backing up data. Storing things on the cloud offers greater convenience and utility, making it an ideal primary option, but it’s essential to back up important files. Having backups on a local storage device like a flash drive or server ensures files are safe in the event of a breach.
Use the cloud judiciously
Users should be mindful of what kinds of data they store on the cloud. As secure as modern cloud storage is, there’s no such thing as being too careful. Most files are fine to keep anywhere, but sensitive information like bank info or Social Security numbers are best left offline.
Encryption is one of the most helpful methods of securing any digitally stored data. By encrypting files before uploading them to the cloud, users can ensure that the files are safe even from their cloud provider. Some providers offer varying levels of encryption services, but third-party software provides another layer of protection.