The amount of information stored in the cloud is increasing every day. This might come as a surprise to some, but cloud computing can be traced all the way back to the 1960s when ARPANET managed to connect people with their data anywhere, anytime. However, cloud storage only really took off in the 2000s with AWS (Amazon Web Services) being one of the first to jump in the market.
This early strategic decision was praised by market analysts and has ensured Amazon the role of market leader, that the company still holds today. It didn’t take long for other companies and conglomerates to realize the potential of the cloud computing market and follow Amazon’s lead. Today cloud computing is a heated market with big names as GCP (Google Cloud Platform), Microsoft Azure and IBM competing for their market share.
Today cloud computing is everywhere. Have you ever stored anything in Dropbox or Gdrive? Well, your data is stored in AWS or GCP servers then. Most of the SAAS (software as a service) solutions that we use every day are using the same cloud providers too. A few notable examples might be the famous music streaming service Spotify, video streaming provider Netflix or PassCamp (check out for free at www.passcamp.com/team-password-manager). Even Microsoft Office is cloud-based today! It seems that most of our data is stored in the cloud. But is it a safe place or should you be worried?
Historically, cyber-attacks were a common cause of data leaks and losses around the world. There are various types of cyberattacks, ranging from very straightforward brute force or DNS attacks against the server defences to extremely complex malware or viruses that are created to look for and exploit any flaws found in the system architecture. However, such massive and well-funded companies as IBM or Google are no joke either.
When you hire the smartest people in the world and have the know-how collected over decades, you are more than prepared to face such threats. After all, you have to be prepared, since your company’s reputation is at risk – every single day. In the end, it’s a never-ending arms race between service providers building cutting-edge defences and hackers looking for ways to take them down. This is a very common and repeating theme in the world of cybersecurity.
Both cloud service providers and their clients that promise to take care of your data have a wide range of technologies at their disposal. The companies that really care about and simply can’t risk your data security, such as email service provider Gmail or password manager for teams PassCamp, often encrypt every single bit of information that leaves your computer.
This means that even if somebody could find a way to steal your data from the cloud, the hacker could only see random strings of symbols and numbers. Another technology that is often used to improve the security of your data is secure authentication protocol that verifies your identity and makes sure than an impersonator is unable to access your data.
So, there is no need to worry – your data is safe and sound, right? Well, let’s not jump to conclusions just yet. Many reports and surveys have found that the largest threat to the security of your data is… well, you. Users are often the weakest link in the information security mechanism, and they are most commonly manipulated too. That’s why there are countless methods to trick you into giving away the keys to your virtual safe to the manipulator.
Some are as simple as sending you a fake email with a link to a virus, that will collect everything you type (including your passwords and other sensitive information). Others use intricate techniques that might impersonate your colleague or a relative. Some even go as far as replicating the website that you often use, such as banks or eCommerce stores.
So what can you do? Well, join the arms race and be one step ahead! Check the sender of every email before clicking links or replying. Be diligent and never leave your accounts logged in to public computers, for example, library or shared work computers. Don’t allow browsers to save your information – they are not a safe place to store them. Most people use very basic passwords – be ahead of the curve and start using proper password security.
Better yet, use an enterprise password manager to store and share your company’s sensitive passwords securely. Don’t click random links that seem fishy. If a system you use offers you to enable two-factor authentication – always do that. It’s been proved to be one of the most effective ways to secure your data that’s stored in the cloud. Most importantly – educate yourself and look for ways to improve your security, rather than leaving it for someone else to take care of.
Cloud computing has come far to improve and ensure the security of our data. But hackers are not resting either. The arms race for making or breaking the information security is out there. And each of us is in the race too, we like it or not. Every additional precaution we implement matters. It is up to you to decide how far you will go to improve the security of your data.
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