Cloud storage is still a relatively new innovation and has attracted much publicity in recent months, especially given some of the high profile security breaches, such as the attack on Apple’s iCloud. Nevertheless it is still the safest method to secure critical data and avoid data recovery issues, but what is the cloud and how can I be sure my data isn’t under threat?
Firstly, users should be aware that the cloud is inherently safe, but it’s often the password security system that isn’t. We’ve certainly not heard of any breaches of cloud storage, but there are numerous vulnerabilities in access details, especially passwords. To keep the data secured, cloud suppliers use encryption as their primary defence, using complex algorithms that are simply beyond hackers. That is not to say that these algorithms cannot be cracked. Indeed Data Recovery Specialists are routinely asked to decrypt data, but the time and effort needed is often not viable. Poor password security causes most breaches. Users are faced with passwords daily for just about everything they do, from internet banking to Facebook login. Therefore, it is not a surprise to hear that the same password is used by most users across multiple platforms.
Everybody uses the term ‘cloud’ but few really understand what it is. ‘Cloud’ simply refers to data storage that is not physically located on the user’s computer. Instead ‘cloud’ providers store your information in data centres that could be located anywhere in the World, often wherever they can get the cheapest deal. Hence your data may be in the hands of a third party system, probably twice removed, somewhere in Outer Mongolia with a history of serious data breaches! Users should be more worried about lost data rather than hacked data and before selecting a ‘cloud’ provider, should check on their levels of service and protection. Users may also consider using ‘cloud’ storage in tandem with another storage system such as a Google Drive.
Tony Pitter Managing Director at Data Recovery Specialists says “Cloud usage has seen an exponential growth for many years and users shouldn’t be too worried about their data. Nevertheless users should not be too complacent. All data should be backed up regardless and ‘cloud’ storage is no different.”