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January 20, 2014
Cloud Storage Protection: Avoiding Cloud Hack Disasters
In an Internet-dependent nation, the risks of a failed connection, a scrambled upload or a hacked cloud storage account slips into the back regions of daily thoughts and routines. It’s something that happens, but only to other people, right? For you, life goes on without incident. The battery in your car never fails. Your electricity never goes off. And your home data backup system is always up to date. Then, WAM, Yahoo leaks your email password, HP issues warnings of security vulnerabilities in their server monitoring software andDropbox gets hacked via theft of a Dropbox file maintained by a company employee, (according to Iowa's Information Security office news feed).
The on-the-go mobile cloud user sometimes forgets the reality of Internet-related viruses, data loss and identity theft. Long seasons without complications promote bad security habits. The random bad service connections that briefly hinder Internet transactions become expected and temporary setbacks. Internet users just retry until they are back in the daily grind of:
- Buying online products
- Gaining access into a favorite chat room
- Sending an instant message to a friend
- Dumping non-encrypted online banking details into an iPhone
- OR using cloud storage without regard to practical data management security planning or restrictions.
But one day, perhaps even as you read this article, the convenience of daily computing will crash head-on into the inconvenience of a busted website, a crashed virtual hard drive, or a hacked Dropbox clone and the loss of associated critical personal information.
Protect Your Cloud Storage From Getting Hacked
According to the U.S. Census "2012 Statistical Abstract," between the years 2000 and 2011, the percentage of U.S. adult Internet users climbed by 13.6 percent. The increase between 2011 and 2013 alone essentially makes the U.S. a nation that thrives on daily Internet access. Mobile devices now dominate the wireless communication arena. Remote access to home networks, cloud storage centers and data sharing facilities have become an expected standard. Yet too many users fail to follow reasonable cloud security practices.
Chose your cloud resources carefully. Research Top 10 Cloud Storage's online storage knowledge base. Review Privacy and TOU documents. Compare security features as well as functional features. Between 2008 and mid-year 2013, FBI convictions for identity theft-related crimes recovered $4.6 billion in loss funds and resulted in $78.6 billion in restitutions, according to FBI.gov. Common Internet-related frauds include non-delivery of ordered merchandise, investment scams, and data theft. You cannot afford to use the Internet or cloud services and cloud storage facilities without knowing how to avoid cloud-related disasters
The cloud is not invincible, but you can increase your protection. These tips, condensed from the cloud storage pages of the Federal Cloud Computing Information division of Cloud CIO, are for you. The focus is on consistent and timely backups and highly encrypted file storage. Also, make sure that your CSP provides the right backup service features.
Critical Backup Service Features
- Login Validation
- The Latest and the Best Encryption For Data Transfers
- Data "Versioning"
- Options for Both Full System and Snapshot Backups
- Clearly Defined and Simplified Management Function
- Automated and Scheduled Backup Functions
- Capacity to Perform Online File Backup
- Multi-platform Support Features That Ensure Easy Portability To a Different CSP
- Simplified Replication and Multi-side Storage Options.
Finally, and as a special note for personal identity protection:
Do not store critical financial data or social security numbers in your computer, on the cloud, or on your private home network. Period.