April 2017: Cloud Computing - A blessing or a Curse?
There’s no doubt that cloud computing has made a huge splash in our technologically ubiquitous society. Its benefits help businesses with productivity and give consumers more convenience about back-ups and data storage. Still, there are a few issues that should be addressed for anyone, whether a business owner or average Joe computer user, before making the jump to any cloud computing solution.
The popular concept of cloud computing involves offloading and archiving pertinent files and data to an off-site 3rd party company which guarantees virtually 100% uptime and secure access anytime anywhere. The problem is that you’re basically having another entity hang on to your confidential information which reduces the amount of control you have over that information. In addition, you have no idea where your information is being stored.
Using cloud services also presents a potential legal headache for both you and the hosting company. For example, cloud service provider Dropbox recently experienced a security breach in which all accounts were accessible by entering ANY password for approximately four hours. While Dropbox was able to rectify the issue promptly, one of their users is now filing a lawsuit for the security issue.
While there is zero way to completely prevent any type of cloud service issue, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the chance of having one of these issues compromise your confidential personal or business information.
i) Adopt a “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket” approach which means only uploading the pertinent data that needs to be accessible to the necessary company personnel.
ii) You can also specify exactly, which employee(s) are allowed access to your cloud servers and make them aware of the heightened security involved with such access. (Increased accountability with updated IT security access/policies)
iii) You can also use a 3rd party encryption program such as True Crypt and encrypt all information before uploading it to your cloud service. This provides additional security to what the Cloud service provider offers as your data would be useless if intercepted (in any way) by unauthorized parties. (unless they can break through the encryption)
iv) You can also save a copy of all your confidential information on your own secure personal or company network which provides an alternative access point in case the cloud service goes down for any reason.
Summarised from an article by Mark Tiongco published in Geeks.com for WOUGNET Tech-SUpport.