Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.


Check here if you're human


What to Look for In Cloud Security

Pin It

Is your data in the cloud? Right now as we speak billions are being invested my major corporations to store and back up data in the cloud. It’s cheaper and it’s safer.

When you think of a cloud, do you picture fluffy white pillow-things that float in the sky without a care in the world? “The cloud,” as it relates to technology, actually refers to millions of servers, which may be owned and operated by either corporations or private individuals, sitting in homes and offices. We can only hope that they are under tight security.

Data stored on your computer is kept together, in one nice little controlled place. Whereas data stored in the cloud is spread out, all over the world. But what’s more secure, your local PC or a server in a dark room in Des Moines?

The reality is that all cloud-based data, just like local PC-based data, is vulnerable to physical theft if the building isn’t properly protected, power outages if there aren’t redundant power backups, natural disasters if Mother Nature decides to have a bad day, and criminal hacking through system weaknesses, phishing, and social engineering.

Then there is Murphy, of Murphy’s Law: what can go wrong will go wrong. And with technology, there is much that can go wrong. CNET recently reported that Amazon’s cloud was down for almost two days. “In April, the cloud storage service experienced a two-day outage that brought many Web site operations to a halt. When a cloud-computing provider has trouble, of course, it raises worries about the dangers of outsourcing operations to another company.”

Cloud-based data is vulnerable both in the cloud, where it’s stored, if it is not properly protected and encrypted, and in transit, via your own Internet connection.

Most cloud service providers won’t explicitly outline what they do to protect your data because it could offer potential hackers information on how to compromise their networks. But one provider for example promises “strict security policies, military-grade encryption, and world-class data centers for optimal data protection of your business’ computers and servers.”

Some providers offer two-factor authentication which is another good way to protect the integrity of cloud-based data, making hacking more difficult than obtaining a simple username and password.  To remind, two factor authentication means you have to use two different things to prove your identity.  Typically this is something you have, like an ATM card, and something you know like a PIN code.

Computer users are responsible for the security of locally stored data, and data that is transmitted via their Internet connection. They can avoid phishing and social engineering scams. But beyond that, they are reliant on the cloud provider to adequately secure their data. Have you checked with your cloud provider yet on their security measures?

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto. Disclosures

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • Cloud Computing Security: Small Business Data in the Cloud
    Over the last decade many computing tasks that were developed to be performed locally on and office PC have now moved to the cloud such as contact managers, office documents, media editing programs, you name it: if there is a software version, there is probably a cloud-based version, and often for free. Just search for the
  • Steps to Manage a secure online backup
    Cyber storage does not always = secure backup. Users of cloud storage have many potential tools at hand to beef up security. And just because cloud services have some loopholes doesn’t mean you should just throw in the towel, as the saying goes, and figure “What’s the point?”. Here are some ways to beef up
  • What is the Cloud?
    You’ve probably heard of people storing information in “the cloud,” but what does that really mean, and is it safe to put your data there? The cloud is best described as a network of servers offering different functions. Some servers allow you to store and access data, while others provide an online service. You may be
  • Cloud Computing 101
    A public cloud service can bring on five risks to a business. Here they are, and their solutions. The three A’s: authentication, authorization, access control. Here are some questions to ponder about a cloud service: How often does it clean up dormant accounts? What kind of authentication is necessary for a privileged user? Who can access or even see
  • Three ways to beef up security when backing up to the cloud
    Disasters happen every day. Crashing hard drives, failing storage devices and even burglaries could have a significant negative impact on your business, especially if that data is lost forever. You can avoid these problems by backing up your data. Backing up means keeping copies of your important business data in several places and on multiple devices.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category