Cloud computing has become a major advantage for businesses worldwide. By reducing expenses and allowing companies to focus on core performance functions, it fosters business growth. However, not everything about cloud computing services is perfect.
6 Reasons Why You Should Never Store Your Business Data on the Cloud
There are a number of considerations that you must make before you start using cloud computing services. Let us help you understand what these are:
1. Cyber attacks
Using cloud services for data storage opens you up for all kinds of cyber attacks. Since cloud services are centralized data storage systems with vital data from countless users, they are very attractive to hackers.
Hackers can use a number of methods to breach cloud security and get access to the stored data. The most popular type of attack is the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Also, the fact that a diverse array of data is stored on the cloud means that all people users be affected by it.
Despite cloud services having high-level security measures, hackers are always enhancing their technological skills. As a result, cyber attacks often become increasingly sophisticated and capable of breaching commercial grade security measures.
In practice, however, it is not so easy to hack into a cloud service. Many hackers try to hack into individual accounts instead. As cybersecurity companies keep enhancing authentication measures, hackers also keep finding novel ways to bypass it. Social engineering and phishing scams are prime examples of this.
2. Third-Party Data Storage and Security
A cloud storage system is an off-site data storage option. Naturally, this has a number of advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest drawbacks is that the cloud service provider handles the online security of the data. So, companies using the service have to trust the provider to keep their data safe.
Nevertheless, the data storage is still off-site and it is not directly in the hands of the company. This is a significant reduction in personal data management capacity. This option is ill-fitted for companies with sensitive data or in-house data storage capacities.
Generally, data storage service providers are reliable, but not all of them can be trusted. Further, they only have a professional obligation to protect your data. This is by definition a step below the protection you would give to your data.
3. Government Intrusion
The recent string of security leaks on NSA surveillance programs reveals how deep the government spying network goes. If you have stored data on a cloud, your competition might not be the only one wanting access to it.
More reports have surfaced on government agencies and tech giants intercepting data transmit. Some reports also suggest that the big companies might be doing so on supposedly secure stored data on clouds.
Cloud data security has always been a bit of a worry for businesses. But now they must also consider whether their cloud service provider will compromise their data, willingly or under pressure, to the government.
Data confidentiality issues and breaches in security are not new threats. However, what is new is the sources from where they come from. It is obvious that the government has far more technical skill than any hacker. Further, the government can also use its legal mandates to demand data disclosure. All these factors must be considered before opting for cloud storage.
4. Insider Threats
External data threats are not the only problems companies can face. Internal security compromises are increasing alarmingly. The Edward Snowden NSA breach, and Vodafone’s 2 million customer record breach are just the tip of the iceberg. Giving employees access to seriously compromises your data security. That is why larger businesses provide only limited access based on the specific needs of the user.
However, on the cloud, things can get really messy really fast. If any person with administrative access decides to sabotage your data, then there is not much to safeguard against it. Even if someone is able to get administrative access, it could have the same disastrous effect on your cloud data security.
5. Legal Liability
When cybercriminals compromise your client data, your company becomes subject to financially ruinous lawsuits. Your clients will not appreciate their data falling into the wrong hands and will ask you to account for it. It is not uncommon for companies to pay huge sums of money for data compromises which could have been prevented. So before taking up any cloud storage service, it is essential to understand the security measures to ensure safety.
While cloud data storage services are popular, they are not really standardized. This lack of a security benchmark means different companies have different security measures and protocols. This leads to a lot of variation within a field where constant security is a primary concern. So companies opting for these services must exercise caution when selecting the right cloud storage company.
The first requirement is to understand how exactly your third-party cloud has been made safe. To answer this questions you have to consider things like the reputation of the provider, the effective industry they serve, the regulations they follow, and the actual physical infrastructure they use for housing the data itself.
No two cloud service providers will offer the same degree of security. So, it is up to the company to determine which is the safest cloud storage company they can find or afford.
The Risk is Omnipresent
Even the safest cloud storage service providers are susceptible to attacks. Hackers have a way of circumventing even the most stringent security measures. Further technological advancements always open up new avenues of attack because of a number of reasons. These include unresolved security issues, sophisticated hacking software, phishing attacks, and scams and many others.
There is no doubt that cloud storage is a great idea in principle. However, in practical application, it is may not always prove to be beneficial. You must consider what kind of risks you are exposing yourself to when taking up cloud services. It is wise to look up the extensive literature on cloud security and consult IT experts before migrating to any cloud storage platform. If you’re adamant on using the cloud for your business, make sure to check out our top-recommended VPNs for Cloud Storage review first.