As the country continues to follow shelter-in-place orders, many companies have found new ways to keep their businesses going by taking steps toward digital transformation and having their employees work remotely. And this trend doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
In fact, research firm Gartner recently surveyed several CFOs and found that 74% are expecting several employees forced to work from home because of COVID-19 to stay remote after the pandemic ends.
In order to successfully move their businesses online, many business leaders have been turning to cloud solutions that give their employees remote access to business information, documents, marketing assets and more. But with so much vulnerable data in one place, can these cloud storage solutions be counted on to keep your business safe?
Let’s take a closer look at these cloud storage solutions and how they might impact your business’s cybersecurity.
What Is Cloud Storage?
A cloud storage solution is any type of platform or software that isn’t stored physically on your computer – instead, it’s located on the internet.
Cloud storage is an ideal solution for many companies because it provides an extra level of reassurance that important company documents, images and videos won’t be lost if someone’s hard drive gives out. Plus, employees can access these folders from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection.
Several popular cloud services on the market can help businesses stay efficient from afar, including:
While these cloud solutions are back by trusted names like Microsoft and Apple, that doesn’t mean they’re not vulnerable to attacks.
Platforms like Dropbox, Yahoo Mail, Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite and Apple’s iCloud have all been victimized by hackers in the past, to varying degrees of seriousness. For example, Microsoft’s hack only lasted two hours and affected a small number of users, while the Dropbox hack in 2012 tapped into over 68 million accounts.
Despite breaches like these, cloud solutions continue to be a popular choice for businesses. According to a recent survey, 94% of companies are already using some type of cloud service.
But with so many people using these platforms, how can they stay protected?
How Are Cloud-Based Systems Secured?
To keep your data secure, cloud solutions like Dropbox and iCloud have continued to level up their protection features. Many solutions are constantly re-evaluating their security systems to avoid future hacks and losing any of their customers’ valuable data.
If you’re looking into a cloud-based solution for your company, it’s important to do your research on how that service plans to keep your company’s information and documents safe. Services and platforms that are worth your time most likely have several different facets of security, including:
- Event Logging: Cloud systems keep a list of “events” that occur on your platform, including traffic, log-ins, failed password attempts and others. IT analysts use these event logs to help evaluate threats and potential vulnerabilities.
- AI Tools: Some cloud services use the help of artificial intelligence to keep your information secure. AI algorithms provide a first-layer of defense so more experienced professionals can stay focused on more serious threats.
- Firewalls: Both internal and advanced firewalls are often used in cloud-based solutions to analyze and direct incoming traffic through a series of rigorous rules and security defenses. Firewalls help boost security by limiting the number of users who have secured accessed.
- Redundancy: Redundancy refers to how cloud service providers keep several copies of your data backed up, so even if there is a hardware failure or a large-scale outage, you’ll still have access to your company’s information.
- Third-Party Security Testing: Some cloud providers look to other security companies to consistently test the security of their programs. By doing this, cloud service providers can be more proactive about different styles of potential hacks.
- Encryption: Encryption allows cloud service providers to turn your data into a seemingly random code that keeps your data secure from potential hackers. If your data is stolen from a cloud service, encrypted data will be very difficult to access without the specific encryption key.
- Intrusion Detection: Successful cloud service platforms have multiple layers of security for users to complete to access your data. Through these different levels, your cloud service has multiple chances to analyze whether or not the person trying to access your storage is legitimate and can quickly inform you about unauthorized usage.
It’s important to check both the offensive and defensive security measures your cloud storage platform has in place. This can help you decide if it’s the right platform for your company, or if you’d like to invest in a different one.
Are Cloud-Based Storage Systems Safe?
Here’s the million-dollar question – are these cloud storage solutions safe? Our answer is yes.
Typically, if you’re working with a trusted cloud-based system, your data is more secure than it is on your computer. Cloud services often have more layers of protection in place and can keep your files safe in case something happens to your computer.
Plus, if you’re working with an experienced, strategic cloud service expert, they should only be suggesting services and features that will not only help your company be safer but more efficient. This often can include creating customized and hybrid solutions over several different platforms if necessary.
But just because cloud storage services are relatively safe, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop implementing best practices, including:
- Enabling two-factor authentication
- Making sure your passwords are secure, not repeated for multiple accounts and devices and kept in a safe place like a password manager
- Storing a physical back-up onsite of important and irreplaceable company documents and files, just in case
- Staying current on platform updates if your system requires them to be implemented manually
- Keeping your employees and team members in the loop about what different security measures are in place to keep their computers and work platforms secure, and how to spot potential threats
Now more than ever, it’s important that you are choosing cloud-based storage systems that you can trust, and that will help your business continue to run seamlessly while adapting to going digital.
If you have any additional questions about how you can secure your company’s valuable information remotely, Ascend is here to help.