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Mission (Im)Possible: Safety in the Cloud Storage

Businesses both large and small are opting for cloud computing solutions in order to gain an edge on the unforgiving market. Cloud computing platforms boost the business efficiency and make it fit for the 21st century, the digital age of information.

A surge of interconnected devices and broadband infrastructure has made such development possible. Smart gadgets have become a part of our daily lives, and they have changed the way we go about business. The emerging Internet of Things has increased the Internet traffic even further, and is taking the digital world to the next level.

Cloud computing is, in fact, at the very core of global tech infrastructure shifting the business landscape. It is becoming omnipresent, and the vast majority of companies worldwide are running applications or at least experimenting with cloud computing services.

The sheer number of devices and objects with IP addresses is staggering, but more importantly, it raises some security issues.

Many are those seeking to exploit security weaknesses and sophisticated cyber-attacks on industry giants, and government networks are not uncommon.

Cloud computing services have evolved from data storage and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to wide outsourcing solutions such as platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service. Offline PC work is not made obsolete, but it is not in the spotlight anymore, that is for sure. A bulk of information is exchanged via cloud, and some data is kept permanently there.

Cloud service providers such as SugarSync and Dropbox have made storing and accessing content easy from any mobile device, desktop, or other gadget.

Security breaches and malware invasions have put many businessmen on tiptoes, so they no longer shy away from investing a pretty penny in security measures. IT security departments are under pressure to come up with measures that can thwart cyber criminals and other threats. This is a tough challenge with the increasing network complexity, and the rise of the Internet of Things.

The burden of such a responsibility is on individual end-users but also cloud computing service providers. Data security falls under the corporate social responsibility rules, which means that protecting the vital data and information is an obligation and responsibility towards partners, clients and the whole community. Trust is the basis of business interconnectedness, and is not easy to build and preserve.

One of the crucial measures is the access control policy that should be in place for all web applications. Platforms like O3, for example, enable the successful migration to Software-as-a-Service apps with risk mitigation and compliance measures. This protects the data of the business organization and ensures the adherence to regulations.

Also, make good use of remote login software to be able to access your computer safely form virtually anywhere. Keep in mind that passwords should be long and strong, and see to it that all employees are following best security practices. Nearly 90 percent of passwords people use worldwide can be cracked in a matter of seconds, so steer away from easy-to-create-and-remember ones.

Experts claim that turning to public cloud services and leading file storing and sharing solutions is the best way to enhance security. The reason is that trustworthy providers such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon employ the best security experts and put serious amounts of money in the latest monitoring and cloud security systems. Be careful when choosing the provider and read the user agreement.

Others, however, argue that business owners are better off storing files on the premises than on networks they do not own. It depends, of course, on the type of information and data that needs to be kept safe and in-house security measures. You should think twice before storing any sensitive data on the cloud.

One thing is for sure. It does not matter if files are on the hybrid public or private cloud system; the security measures and tools have no alternative.   Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and extensive data encryption are probably the best ways to secure data, business networks and information system infrastructure. Encryption is not something that only experts do. In fact, with free compression software like B1 Free Achiever it is quite easy to zip the file and set the password.

It is a good idea to check cloud services such as Spideroak that offer local file encryption and decryption. However, Open SSL Heartbleed vulnerability and Dragonfly malware have shown that even with the advanced encryption methods your data is not fully secured, but at least you made it hard for anyone to just walk in and take the spoils.

Conclusion

Cloud computing is in a phase of dynamic development, and it will continue to be so in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, cyber threats are becoming more dangerous and smarter about finding weaknesses. Legislation and business education is struggling to keep pace with the lightning speed of technology progress, which is another pitfall. Thus, security is the paramount concern when it comes to cloud computing. It is yet to be seen what the outcome of mission (im)possible will be.

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One comment

  1. Though it is now adopted by many enterprise, it will be quiet hard to control encryption fails. Data can be easily accessed.

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