Tips for Choosing a Cloud Storage Service
The cloud offers undoubted benefits, even the WordPress cloud hosting is getting more and more popular day by day. But how to choose between the different providers? We must take into account the security aspects that each of them offers us before deciding.
Now we all have information stored on our devices: laptops, smartphones, tablets … and a large part of our documents stored in the cloud: OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive for any type of file, Google Docs for all your documents, Calendar for the agenda, Picassa for your photos …
The security of all the information found on our devices depends directly on us, however the information we have in the cloud is hosted on the servers that make up it, and we share the responsibility of ensuring that it is secure with those responsible for that cloud.
That the security of our information in the cloud depends on a third party, has its advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is that they can allocate more resources to security than we could provide and therefore have a higher level of security. In return, in some cases, we give up part of the control of our data and these in turn are exposed to other types of threats different from those that could affect our information when it was only stored on our devices.
For all this, we must know how to choose well which provider we trust with our data and what we should look at before deciding.
What are the Main Threats that can Affect Cloud Storage Services?
Hacking attacks: The services offered in the cloud are accessible through the Internet, and therefore they are exposed to malicious attacks that seek to obtain our credentials and information, stop the service or manipulate it in any way.
Legal requirements: The servers where our data is located can be in different geographical locations, for example I may be uploading my data from UK and the servers are in countries outside the European Union. However, its services are provided globally. Therefore, there are various applicable legislation that must be complied with in this provision of services. Otherwise, they may be affected by fines or even by the closure of the service.
Problems related to the operation of systems: Like all computer services, the operation can be affected by technical problems and as a consequence leave us without access to our information in the cloud.
What can we do so that these problems affect us as little as possible?
Assess certain aspects when choosing our cloud. To opt for one or the other, we must not only look at the number of gigabytes that each cloud offers us, but it is also advisable to evaluate the guarantees related to the security that we are offered.
What security guarantees should we check before opting for one or the other cloud?
Information encryption: The most important thing that our cloud must guarantee us is the confidentiality of our information, for this we must verify two very important aspects:
The first is the use of digital certificates on the web, which provides confidentiality in the transit of information with respect to third parties. To check this, we only have to verify in our browser that the address from which we access cloud services begins with https.
The second aspect to take into account is that our information is stored using encryption mechanisms. This feature is usually advertised on the main page of the service. If our information is encrypted even though a malicious third party accesses it, they will not be able to read it without the key used for encryption.
Additionally, some cloud services guarantee a higher level of confidentiality, through the use of encryption mechanisms that prevent even themselves from having access to our information in a “readable” format. This feature is limited to very specific clouds.