Am I Safe in “The Cloud”?

 

"Move to the cloud", they said, "It will be GREAT!"

 

I get asked all the time, "Is the cloud safe?"  My answer is, “it depends.”

 

Let’s explore briefly what the cloud is anyway. 

 

It is quite a beast and, frankly, general questions like this about "the cloud" are simply unfair.  You see, many companies, or "providers" offer numerous cloud services.  "The Cloud" is simply THE INTERNET!

 

Any technology-driven service that is offered over the internet is considered “cloud”. Therefore, you are only as safe as the provider and their processes.  Each provider has different security measures, history of breaches, password policies, etc. 

 

Do your homework:

·         Look at their privacy statements (yes, I know we never read those things).  But look to see what information they share with outside parties.  If the service is free, you better bet they are selling something of yours.

·         Find out from an IT professional just how secure the connection they provide is – and if any data is actually traveling across the Internet, if it is encrypted.

 

The other caveat is the device you use to access your cloud services.  These days, we are using multiple devices, and some are not even ours.  Laptops, tablets, phones, hotel computers just to name a few. 

 

How protected are these devices?  A simple behind-the-scenes key logger can expose all access to your cloud services rather quickly. And anti-virus is simply not enough these days. 

 

A couple of simple ideas.  Protect your own device with a good suite of security products, have a good password on it, and avoid public machines and WiFi (use your phone as a hot spot).  Remember a cloud service is only as safe as the provider chooses AND the user (that’s YOU)!!

 

Stay Safe!

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