One of the most common misconceptions about cloud computing is that storing data online is inherently less secure than keeping it on a local workstation, server, or storage network. While there’s no such thing as a 100% secure IT system, data stored in the cloud is a lot more secure than you probably think, and here’s why:
Most data stored in the cloud is physically located in facilities operated by global technology giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Given the vast reach of these companies, and the fact that they have funds far exceeding the entire gross domestic product (GDP) of many countries, they can afford the best security measures available. These major data centers are among the most secure facilities in the world, with round-the-clock security guards, multiple access controls, and CCTV monitoring. On top of that, they have bespoke technological measures in place to prevent attacks coming from outside. In the end, a hacker would probably have an easier time trying to break into a Federal Reserve Bank.
The overwhelming majority of data breaches involving cloud storage are caused by external factors, most commonly the failure of users to look after their credentials. In a time when almost all cyberattacks begin with phishing scams, criminals depend heavily on duping users into surrendering their login information. The same problem applies to any connected system, whether it’s a virtualized storage network hosted in a major data center or an internal network that’s connected to the public internet. However, major cloud providers offer extra layers of security to combat social engineering scams, such as multifactor authentication (MFA) and round-the-clock monitoring to detect any potentially suspicious logins.
Naturally, cloud providers have a vested interest in keeping their clients’ data safe. As such, by far the biggest challenge is securing your local machine and the transmission of data from your internal network to the cloud. Fortunately, these risks are relatively easy to mitigate using things like encryption to scramble any data in storage or transit. That way, even if someone does manage to intercept the data, they won’t be unable to make any sense of it. For the end user, the main responsibility lies in keeping their login credentials safe and making sure they always think before sharing any content with third parties.
Natural disasters, power outages, hardware failures, human error, and ransomware attacks can lead to the destruction and permanent loss of valuable data. If there isn’t a backup stored elsewhere, there’s often no way of getting your data back intact.
These things generally can’t happen in the cloud. That’s because every byte of data is typically stored in at least three different physical locations, which are often geographically far apart from one another. It would take an incredible coincidence for all those data-bearing devices to suffer catastrophic failures at precisely the same time. Combined with a robust backup and disaster recovery (BDR) strategy, the cloud offers a degree of redundancy that’s virtually impossible for any smaller company to achieve by itself. With automatic rollovers and multiple redundant systems, most instances of data loss won’t even be noticeable since the disruption will be minimal or none at all.
Overall, the cloud is by far the best place to store your data. It’s safe, convenient, accessible, and limitlessly scalable.
Fidelis provides cloud services that organizations today need to stay productive and secure in an increasingly connected world. Call us today to learn more.