Is working in the cloud safe enough? It is a common question among consumers and a fair one. The answer is more complex than most realize, because “The Cloud” is an umbrella term for many different types of services. The answer depends on what each user is doing and how they gain access to that task.
Security is a provider issue, so the company offering the product is ultimately responsible. However, on the end-user side of the puzzle, understanding the challenges and ways to enhance cloud security will lead to better control over the issue.
Encryption is really the key to cloud data storage security. A service that offers no encryption is providing no security to its users. That is not the case for most of the major players such as Dropbox or Google. Even when there is on-board encryption, some data will be safer than other types.
Taking a proactive approach makes more sense for the end-user point of view. Using a third-party software program to self encrypt data sets before storing them gives a second layer of protection, especially for sensitive information like customer data or passwords.
Assessing Cloud Security
The question one might ask is how secure is the cloud compared to everything else? When it comes down to it, modern cloud technology is probably safer that many things consumers face daily. Home networks, for example, if set up incorrectly, can be very flimsy. Even mainstream operating systems and firewalls are subject to attack by phishers.
As long as a user selects a trustworthy service, odds are the security is better than the average Wi-Fi network. It is certainly more secure than a public network like you find in coffee shops or the library.
Internet security is in the hands of the user whether working in the cloud or not. The best offense is a good defense.
Research the service provider prior to trusting any sensitive data to their care. Make sure they offer some level of encryption. Stick with well-known companies or ones recommended by others.
Change passwords often, and make sure each one is unique. It is okay to use a grandparent's middle name for library access but not to review bank accounts.
Above all else, add another layer of encryption. Make data secure before it even enters the cloud just to be safe.