In the first half of the past year, data breaches compromised 4.5 billion records worldwide. It’s only increasing, however.
Cyber-attacks, malware, and viruses are on the rise, threatening the security of billions of individuals and companies all over the world. That’s why you must strengthen your digital defense, as well.
If you’re using local storage to store your files, use encryption. Better yet, transfer them to cloud storage instead.
Why? What makes it a better option in the cloud storage vs local storage debate?
Find out the reasons why you should use cloud storage below.
How Cloud Storage Works
To provide you with an insight into how secure the cloud is, you should first know how it works.
What makes cloud storage different from local storage is where your files go to and how you access them. With the cloud, you store your files in a remote physical location instead of storing them in your location with a hard drive.
You can then access those files via the internet. This frees up space on your hard drive and eliminates the costs for maintaining your servers.
Cloud Storage vs Local Storage: What Makes the Cloud Safer?
Based on its description, the cloud seems to be not that much different than local storage. How is it safer, though?
The backbone of digital security is encryption. Software like messaging apps and the cloud rely on it to keep the data safe while in transit.
Most of the time, cloud storage providers use multi-layered encryption using advanced technologies. This allows them to secure the files as they come and go through their servers.
Encryption works by scrambling the data. This makes it unreadable for people and devices not meant to view it. It uses a key to unscramble the data and turn it into a readable form, allowing the receiving party to view it.
What makes this secure? That’s because if someone were to hijack the transit of data, it will remain in ciphertext form. This is the encrypted form of data, which is hard to decipher without a key.
The most advanced encryption strategies use multiple steps to scrambling the information. This makes it harder for hackers to decrypt the data for their usage.
Apart from that, cloud providers use strong authentication measures to positively identify users.
The algorithm used by cloud providers is different among each one. Knowing this, you should be careful in choosing whom to trust your data with.
In the cloud storage vs local storage debate, this is the most important factor to consider. Most hard drives only provide basic password encryption. If you want something more advanced, it’s up to you to set it up.
The best cloud storage providers don’t only store your data once. They keep at least three copies of it in case something goes wrong with the first copy. This means if your backup doesn’t work, don’t worry, the cloud has a backup of your backup.
Furthermore, providers store your data in multiple different locations. They have servers set up in different parts of the country or the world. It eliminates the risk of losing all your files in a technical glitch, hacking, or accident.
All these risks are present if you store your important data in hard drives instead. In this route, you can lose your data if a fire breaks out in your office, for example, or if you experience a technical glitch that wipes out your information in your servers.
With all the security measures in place, though, someone is still bound to try to hack into the system to obtain sensitive information of a provider’s clients or to hold it for ransom.
But don’t worry, a good cloud service provider anticipates these kinds of attacks. They implement fences that alert them when something is attempting to gain access.
They have detective controls that allow them to detect threats and then react accordingly. This process, they can automate to signal to the right preventive or corrective controls to address the issue. They can also use this to signal to the right team to try and fight against the attack.
With cloud storage, it’s possible to provide or restrict access as you see fit. You can share your file to another person by giving them access, which you can also limit.
For instance, you can give him/her read-only access so he/she can’t alter the file in any way. If that person has left the company, you can take back his/her access.
This way, you don’t need to risk having another copy of your file someplace else. You don’t need to share the file via email or by saving it on a thumb drive, which the employee might lose.
Possible Security Risks
It’s only fair to outline the security risks of using the cloud for your files, as well. However, apart from a sketchy provider, the risks present are in the people you trust. An individual you provided the password to, for instance, might use the data in your cloud storage in malicious ways.
Passwords can get hacked, as well. If you have a simple password, brute force and dictionary attacks can figure it out with enough time.
It’s easy to strengthen your defense against these attacks, though. You only have to choose your password with care.
Don’t use your name or generic words in the dictionary. Use variety; combine small and big letters and use numbers.
Hackers are less of an issue, but the risks are still there. They often find the path of least resistance when it comes to choosing which to hack. This means they’re less likely to attack the servers of a reputable cloud provider than they are to attack individual companies.
Find a Reputable Cloud Service Provider
As you can see, the cloud wins by a long mile in the cloud storage vs local storage dilemma when it comes to security. However, you should choose the right provider to be able to enjoy the security benefits above.
Keeping up with the latest technologies can be a little daunting, but it’s worth it. If you have any questions or issues with your computer or system, get the right solutions by contacting us.