The coronavirus has practically changed the world as we know it. Since the start of 2020, there have been several changes in the labor industry, with several shifts to technology. One of such significant shifts is the increased reliance on remote working. Since businesses need to function even though social distancing rules are adhered to, working from home has become a viable solution. Because of this, firms also turned towards cloud services to facilitate easy access to online workspaces.
However, cloud services come with security risks. For one, the intertwined flow of data between systems makes it more susceptible to attacks. Anyone with the correct login credentials can access a cloud storage account from any part of the globe.
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What Security Challenges Does Cloud Storage Post on Companies?
1. Privacy Breaches
A privacy breach happens when an unapproved individual accesses a cloud storage account to tamper with the information stored. Hackers usually perpetrate this act. They aim to steal and sell the data stolen from the cloud account. In some cases, these cybercriminals can also request a ransom, so the data doesn’t get shared publicly.
The main reason for privacy breaches is employee mistakes. Key employees with access to the cloud account may not have sufficient cybersecurity knowledge. This way, social engineering techniques can make the worker give up login credentials to the cloud account.
2. DDoS Attacks
Hackers use DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attacks against cloud services. It is facilitated through the direction of web traffic to a server. The server eventually takes too much traffic from the computers (usually in a bot network) and crashes. In this event, employees and other data users will find it difficult to access the information on the cloud.
3. Vulnerable API
The Application User Interface or API is the crucial mechanism utilized in cloud system operations. Companies behind cloud services use a system to allow programmers to use APIs. However, this leads to a trade-off between increased functionality and decreased cybersecurity. In this case, firms using cloud services become vulnerable to lax security measures like third parties accessing the accounts without permission.
4. Malware Infections
Cloud storage services can get infected with malware through malicious pieces of code that appear legitimate. If a cloud service is infected with malware, no information stored on it will be safe. Every bit of data on the cloud storage would be spied on.
Here’s What Should Companies Do to Protect Cloud Data:
1. Implement Safe Passwords
Safe passwords in this context refer to passwords that cannot get cracked easily. Unsafe passwords consist of general passwords, relatives’ names, pet names, the company’s title, and birthdates. Even an amateur hacker can easily guess these types of passwords. Moreover, they can crack such passwords using the brute force method.
When you create a strong and safe password, it will be sure to be a string of uppercase letters, lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. Strong passwords are also at least ten characters long. The password even becomes harder to decipher if it doesn’t have an intrinsic meaning. If you think creating and remembering complex passwords can take your time, you can use a password manager. It will help you create and store all your complicated passwords, but you need to remember the master password.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication, also known as two-factor authentication, is a way to keep your cloud storage safe. It aims to prevent hackers who have somehow gotten your password from gaining access to your account. This is how multi-factor authentication works: you put in the username and password for your cloud account.
You’re then asked to provide additional information before you can be allowed access. The information can be a code sent to your device or app or even biometric authentication. In theory, if a hacker lays hands on your login details and attempts to breach your account, activating multi-factor authentication would stop the process.
3. Encourage the use of VPNs
The average techie may not instantly spot the connection between VPNs and cloud storage. However, Virtual Private Networks are essential to protecting cloud storage accounts. The benefit of using a VPN is divided into two. First, there’s the part where the data initially has to be moved. Information can only get to cloud storage using an internet connection from the device where the data is stored.
In the process of doing this, data and login details can get hijacked if a hacker has breached the device’s network. A VPN conjures up a secure channel for information to flow through to the cloud account. Second, employees accessing the cloud storage account can also get their details stolen if they use unsecured public Wi-Fi. Using a VPN to secure your device before connecting to free Wi-Fi will hide your personal data and protect your firm’s cloud storage account.
4. Check for User Access
Cloud storage services allow users to share data with third parties. However, if a user who has access to your files gets hacked, your information would be seen by the hacker.
You have to ensure sensitive files remain private by scrutinizing the emails that have access to the folder. Also, make sure that private files cannot be accessed by links. If you have to share a file with a third party, set an expiry date so the period of access can elapse.
5. Switch on Alerts
You can switch on alerts for your firm’s cloud storage account. Login attempts, file shares, and file modifications are part of your account’s activity and can spark alerts. Turning on account alerts will allow you to stop suspicious activity on your cloud storage.
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There has been a rise in cloud storage service usage since the start of the global pandemic. As a result, firms are now increasingly exposed to more cyber threats on the internet. Some of these threats include privacy breaches, malware infection, and DDoS attacks. To protect your cloud storage data, you can put a limit on external user access, use safe passwords, purchase a VPN’s services for the firm, and employ multi-factor authentication.