How Does the Cloud Really Work? Where Does Your Data Go?

cloud storage

There’s no more updated concern nowadays than risks regarding data — cloud storage, data sharing, data storage, data theft — the list is infinite. The high demand for storage has nurtured the growth of a thriving cloud service industry that offers affordable and remotely-accessible cloud services. Fortunately, people become more and more aware that they need to be guarded against companies making money out of their data. But there’s never enough awareness and good advice on the dangers that consistently break into our lives and even…houses! Are data cloud services a safe idea to use in your household?

Home security cameras and cloud storage

It’s a paradoxical idea to connect these two inventions. While cloud storage puts its users at high risk, home security systems intend to protect us. Naturally, with the rising popularity of cloud storage, and its ever-increasing versatility, it’s no surprise that we’ll find plenty of assurances and promises online that this is the way to go. Without security measures in place, files in the cloud are among the easiest to hack. Another major risk is that these files are stored and transmitted on the internet. Even if the files are encrypted, data can still be intercepted on route to its destination. Do we want this kind of risk in our households?

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Not only for commercial use

The biggest risk with cloud storage is privacy. Data can be viewed even if it hasn’t been stolen or published. By whom? For example, governments can legally request information stored in the cloud. It’s fully up to the cloud services provider to deny access. Each year, government agencies send tens of thousands of requests for user data to Google, Microsoft, and other businesses. Most of the time, these companies hand over at least some kind of data, even if it’s not the content in full.

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Crucial cloud data storage downfalls

IT experts warn that security or the lack thereof has already restricted the universal adoption of cloud services. There are several risks about them. Here are six of them to focus on:

  • First of all, you have no control over data. In other words, someone else has the data. With cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft Azure becoming a regular part of business processes, enterprises have to deal with newer security issues such as loss of control over sensitive data. Most cloud services encourage users to back up their data in real-time. This means that a lot of unauthorized people can end up viewing that data. Companies are one thing, but no one wants that to happen in their houses! 
  • Secondly, cloud credentials. The basic value proposition of the cloud is that it offers near-unlimited storage for everyone. Certain user credentials restrict cloud access. However, these credentials can vary significantly in security strength based on individual users’ password habits, meaning that even the credentials are subject to compromise. While a credential compromise may not give attackers access to the data within your files, it could allow them to perform other tasks such as making copies or deleting them. 
  • We haven’t forgotten about data leakage! People who fear data leakage, have held back from adopting the cloud. The basic truth is that the cloud is a multi-user environment. Data can be mishandled or put at risk because all resources are shared. There are also a number of external threats that can lead to data leakage (malicious hacks of cloud providers or compromises of cloud user accounts). Their setup is simple enough, so there’s more risk that your data could be hacked. Cloud surveillance requires extra precautions over a traditional security camera setup, with two-factor authentication being a baseline for an added layer of security. Cloud security devices will require continuous and careful observation. 
  • What is snooping? Files in the cloud are among the most accesible to hack without security measures in place. The storage and transmission over the internet are a major risk factor. 

 

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