The Problem With Cloud Storage

The Problem With Cloud Storage 
| 1st Secure IT data loss prevention cyber and IT security services risk management protection firm

Once upon a time, just about all the data generated by, or inputted into, the world's computers was done so by way of punch cards. If you wanted to back up your data, you had to make physical copies of each punch card, then store it in a separate location in case of fire.

Thank God we're not at that point anymore. Most of the staff at our IT security company have been in the industry for decades now, so we all remember the dark ages of relying on older technology to store data. Not quite as far back as punch cards, but far enough.

From floppy disks to magnetic tape, hard disk drives to today's high-performance solid state drives, we’ve come a long way in developing new storage solutions. But these days, cloud storage seems to be the most popular option for backing up data. What is cloud storage? And are there any problems with it? Keep reading to find out.

What Is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage isn’t so much a new innovation in storage technology as it is a model of computing. When uploading data to the cloud, what you’re essentially doing is uploading it to remote servers which you can access via the internet. It’s maintained by a third party cloud storage company.

It works by providing the user (you) with a virtualized data centre, so you can see and interact with all of your information in one place. Most cloud storage systems also have a built in function that allows your files to be automatically backed up on a regular basis, which takes the guesswork out of backing up your systems.

But cloud storage isn’t the be-all, end-all of backing up your data.

Your Data Is On Someone Else’s Machine

A common meme in the world of IT is that “there is no cloud. It’s just someone else’s computer.”

This is true in the broadest sense of the word, but it’s more complicated than just tossing your data onto a random person’s hard drive like this meme makes it seem.

Just because your data is on someone else’s machine, this doesn’t mean cloud storage is inherently unsafe. However, because your data is on someone else’s machine, there are risks. Here are some of them.

1. You’re sharing your service with others

If you’re using a cloud storage solution, it goes without saying that you aren’t their only customer. Amazon Web Services, one of the biggest cloud storage and cloud computing solutions in the world, claims to have over a million users.

Most cloud data centres have security measures in place to prevent any cross-contamination. But what happens if they don’t? You can be as vigilant as you like, but what happens if someone uploads some sort of ransomware or malware to the cloud? Could you be affected?

It may sound unlikely, but well-known IT security researcher and author Brian Krebs wrote about just such a scenario.

2. Your jurisdiction’s laws may not apply

Your cloud storage company’s servers aren’t necessarily going to be in the same jurisdiction you are.

In a way, this is a good thing. If you live in a place where natural disasters are a risk, for example, like hurricane-prone Florida, earthquake- and wildfire-prone California, or one of the states in Tornado Alley, it’s a good idea to store your data in another area After all, if a hurricane wipes out your computers AND your cloud storage company’s data centre, there isn’t much of a point in having cloud storage in the first place, is there?

That said, when you work with cloud storage companies in other countries, the rights and responsibilities you’ve come to understand in your home jurisdiction may not apply.

In some jurisdictions, you may actually be giving up your rights to your data entirely. In other cases, you may upload content that’s perfectly legal and lawful in your home jurisdiction, but breaks the law in another. So it pays to understand the country out of which your cloud storage is based and their laws when it comes to privacy, data protection, and intellectual property.

3. It can lull you into a false sense of security

It’s simple to use a cloud storage solution to back up your data. Most backup strategies involve some sort of cloud storage solution. After all, it’s convenient, happens automatically, and takes a lot of the headaches out of things.

That said, it’s not the only option you should consider.

Here at 1st Secure IT, we’re big fans of the 3-2-1 backup rule. We’ve written an article on it in the past, which you can feel free to check out. But the gist of it is as follows:

Have at least 3 different copies of your data, 2 of which are stored locally (but on different media), and at least 1 copy off-site.

Your off-site backup could be your cloud storage solution, but what happens if they have an outage? Whether they experience a bug, a natural disaster, a physical breach of security, or any number of other issues, it doesn’t matter.

Relying solely on one source of backup for your data is foolish.

See, one of the problems is that your files are backed up automatically. So if you happen to acquire some sort of malware that renders your data unreadable, or ransomware that blocks access to your data, your cloud storage will diligently upload it to its server without a second thought. And just like that, your data is entirely compromised.

So if you’re going to use a cloud storage solution, be sure you have more than just that as a backup for your files.

Contact 1st Secure IT

Are you uncertain about your current backup strategy? Not sure how strong your IT security is against all the potential threats out there?

No problem. Contact 1st Secure IT today.You’ll get a chance to speak with one of our experienced IT security specialists about your concerns, and from there we’ll put together a strategy that addresses these issues and meets your needs.

Don’t wait until you’ve already been attacked. Contact 1st Secure IT and enjoy a safer, securer, more reliable IT environment today.

 

1st Secure IT


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Coral Springs Florida
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Monday, 19 August 2019

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