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6 Cloud Storage Threats & How to Avoid Them

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Martin Tord Updated on Sep 22, 2023 8:54 PM

Nowadays, more of our data is finding its way into the cloud, so it is crucial to understand the potential threats associated with cloud storage.

In this article, we've put together a nifty guide on how to unravel the most common cloud storage threats and equip you with practical tips to protect your data.

1. Data Breaches

Data breaches occur when hackers gain access to data and exploit vulnerabilities in the cloud storage provider's infrastructure–and they are a nightmare.

The first step to reduce the risk is to choose a reputable cloud storage provider with a good track record and then consider implementing encryption for your stored data.

Regularly monitor your accounts for suspicious activity and enable notifications for any login attempts or access from unfamiliar devices or locations.

2. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are cleverly crafted schemes that trick users into revealing their login credentials.

Cybercriminals often create convincing fake login pages, posing as legitimate cloud storage providers.

These fraudulent pages are typically sent via email or direct messages, and they prompt users to enter their usernames and passwords.

Once entered, the attackers gain access to your account.

Phishing scams account for nearly 36% of all data breaches. To protect yourself from them, always scrutinize emails and messages before clicking on any links or downloading attachments.

Look for subtle signs of fraud, such as misspelled domain names or generic greetings.

Additionally, avoid clicking on links directly from emails; instead, navigate to the cloud storage website independently and log in from there.

If in doubt, contact your cloud storage provider to verify the authenticity of the communication.

3. Data Loss

Most cloud storage providers invest in infrastructure and redundancy measures, but data loss can still occur due to technical glitches, human error, or even server crashes.

So, it's crucial to understand that cloud storage is not immune to such issues, and a single fault in the system can result in data loss.

You need to safeguard yourself against data loss by regularly backing up your cloud-stored data and creating local backups on external drives or using an additional cloud storage provider as a secondary backup.

This redundancy ensures that even if your primary cloud storage experiences an issue, your data remains safe and accessible.

Additionally, inquire about your provider's data recovery options and retention policies, which may aid in retrieving lost data.

4. Malware & Ransomware

Malware and ransomware are malicious software programs that can infect your cloud-stored files, making them inaccessible or allowing hackers to demand a ransom for their release.

These threats can enter your cloud storage through infected files uploaded from your device or via vulnerabilities in your cloud provider's security. Unfortunately, malware attacks are now sitting at 10.4 million per year.

To defend against malware and ransomware, it's essential to maintain robust antivirus software on your devices and keep it regularly updated. Additionally, practice safe file-sharing habits.

Scan for viruses and malware before uploading or downloading files to and from your cloud storage. Beware of suspicious email attachments, as they are common vectors for delivering malware.

Finally, educate yourself on the signs of a ransomware attack, such as encrypted files and ransom notes, and take immediate action to isolate and report any suspected infections.

5. Insecure Passwords

Insecure passwords are an invitation for cybercriminals to access your cloud storage account. Passwords such as "password123" or "admin" are easily cracked by attackers using automated tools.

Create passwords that are difficult to guess and use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols, and avoid using information like birthdates or pet names–oh, and change them regularly.

You can also use a password manager, which generates strong passwords and securely stores them for easy access by only you.

How to Avoid Cloud Storage Threats

Now that you're aware of the threats and their nuances, let's explore ways to safeguard your cloud storage.

1. Strong Passwords

Here's the list of tips on how to safeguard your passwords:

  • Create passwords with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdates or pet names.
  • Use a password manager to create and store strong, hacker-proof passwords.

2. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Enable 2FA for your cloud storage accounts. This increases security by requiring you to enter a code sent to your mobile device or email when logging in.

3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN is encryption software that protects your internet connection by making it difficult for hackers to get hold of your data. Moreover, it adds extra anonymity by hiding your IP address.

So, what is VPN in iPhone? It's a valuable tool that offers these benefits, especially when you're accessing your cloud storage on public Wi-Fi networks.

4. Regular Backups

Back up your cloud-stored data to an external device or another cloud storage service on a regular basis– this ensures you won't lose everything in case of data loss.

5. Be Wary of Phishing

Phishing is the most common scam technique, so follow these guidelines to avoid getting scammed:

  • Always verify the legitimacy of emails and links before clicking on them.
  • Don't enter your login credentials on suspicious websites.
  • Use an email filtering service to detect and block phishing attempts.

6. Keep Software Updated

Ensure your antivirus and other software is always up to date. Yes, updates are annoying and time-consuming, but they include security patches that protect against known vulnerabilities, so it's worth the time spent.

Conclusion

Cloud tech is a blessing, but unfortunately, it is not immune to the devious ways of cybercriminals, so it is up to us to ensure our data is always protected.

By staying aware of the best safety measures, your online documents will be safe and secure in the cloud.

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