Over the last few years, cloud computing has gone from being a relatively unknown service to a tool that has become immensely popular, especially in the business sphere. Thousands of businesses around the world has swapped their traditional, service-based data centres for the storage and computing services offered by the cloud.
The benefits of cloud computing are truly undeniable as cloud computing provides an easy storage solution for all of your data, and computing services that allow for cohesive project streamlining. But many business owners are still hesitant to make the move to the cloud because of safety and security concerns. One of the most common questions we get asked as a cloud computing service provider is, “Is cloud computing safe?”
Many business owners fear cybercriminals, hackers and data breaches, which are not unfounded fears to have. Losing years of data would be absolutely disastrous to most companies. So, is cloud computing 100% safe? And what are some of the risks involved?
What Is Cloud Computing?
Before we start talking about the safety of cloud computing, it’s important that you understand how cloud computing works and answer the question of “what is cloud computing?” To put it simply, cloud computing offers a variety of computing services over a network (usually the internet), making use of hardware and software. The services offered by cloud computing include storage, databases, servers networking, software, intelligence and analytics.
Many people are familiar with the concept of data being stored on online servers instead of traditional storage methods. But cloud computing goes a step further than storage. It allows this data to be accessed by multiple team members, provides services and applications, and ultimately adds value to project cohesion.
A great example of cloud computing that many people are familiar with is Gmail. Gmail allows its users to access data, applications and files from any device, so long as they are connected to the internet.
Is Cloud Computing Safe?
The answer we want to give you is a simple “yes”, but due to the nature of cloud computing there are certain online risks involved with this service such as data breaches and loss of data. The good news is that these risks can easily be diminished by certain safety precautions and procedures.
Security Factor #1 Redundancy
Losing years of data can have truly disastrous and detrimental effects on your business. Businesses often store years of important data and productivity on the cloud, and this data is often irreplaceable if lost. There is the small risk of this data being lost due to hackers or service failure.
In order to combat this risk, most professional cloud service companies will store your data in at least three different locations so that if you experience data loss, you will still have multiple back-ups. This is the advantage that cloud computing has over on-premises and traditional storage methods which can all too easily be lost forever.
Security Factor #2 Safe Sharing Policy
Have you heard of file sharing? If you use Google Docs then you understand exactly how file sharing works. Cloud computing safe file sharing policies in their computing systems. This service allows you to share files by providing the email address of the person you wish to share the file with. The team members with file access cannot share this file with anyone else without your permission, so it is a fairly safe way of only allowing certain team members to work on certain projects and have access to certain information, and prevents the distribution of files to unauthorised personnel.
Security Factor # 3 Encryption
Encryption is vital in cloud computing services, and every professional cloud computing service provided should ensure that all of their clients’ data is fully encrypted. Encryption ensures that the path that users take to access information and services on the cloud cannot be tracked by hackers and cybercriminals. As long as users keep their passwords secret, it should be near impossible for hackers to have any access.
Security Factor #4 Access Control
Access control is probably the most important security element when it comes to cloud computing, and secure cloud computing is much more about controlling access than it is about storing data. Hackers and cybercriminals are usually only able to breach data when they have certain information such as passwords, email addresses and phone numbers.
Cloud computing services have the responsibility to monitor access and ensure that only authorised team members have access to data on the cloud. Professional cloud computing services will have knowledge, resources and expertise to implement reliable and secure access control measures.
Security Tips For Safe Cloud Computing
The number one best practice in cloud safety is to maintain due diligence. Remain informed on the latest security issues and strategies. Review other tips for staying safe in cloud networking here:
- Ensure that the CSP you intend to use encrypts all of your data.
- There should be a two-step authentication method for when you’re logging in, i.e. having a code sent to your cell phone to validate your identity. This is a very important barrier against hackers, although not 100% fool proof.
- Regular monitoring of workspaces.
- Understand all cloud computing services compliances.
- Ensure the incorporation of hacker barriers such as firewalls, key management, centrally managed access control and other policies.
- Back-up data should be stored in a few other locations.
- Secure APIs.
A reliable and trusted cloud computing service provider will be able to do all of the routine maintenance and safety checks for you, and do everything they can to ensure that your data is safe and secure. It is recommended that you obtain your cloud computing services through a service provider, especially if you are new to cloud computing. It’s important to choose a provider that you trust, so read reviews and do your research before making an informed choice.