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Cloud Data Storage Solutions – The Risks
Understand the risks in moving your business to the Cloud.
Many organisations are taking the step of shifting data storage to cloud-based systems, with approximately 70 per cent of companies around the world relying on cloud storage solutions. With the many benefits such as global accessibility via the internet, simplified IT management and cost-effectiveness, it is no wonder more and more companies are taking data storage online.
Although the growing concern of data breaches and maintaining system security remain in place, with companies pushing the trust onto third-party, specialist IT firms to effectively manage private and confidential information. With an estimated 20 per cent of data stored in the Cloud being of a sensitive nature, whether it be personal or confidential, the question of cloud security versus on-site infrastructure is raised.
Cloud-based data storage solutions
Cloud-based solutions sound great – data is stored in a centralised location that can easily be accessed via the internet, but is it secure? Research has shown that data breaches are three times more likely for companies using cloud-based storage solutions.
Since Cloud solutions are often managed by third-party firms, companies tend to have less control at times of risk and rely on the expertise of those employed or contracted. The data storage solution is also not compatible with some industries due to not meeting regulatory requirements, for instance, the health care or financial sector cannot use Cloud storage.
What are some risks?
There are several reasons as to why data goes missing, the first thought is often that a malicious attack has occurred but it can happen when the software is outdated, the hard disk is not working properly, a provider error or even from physical catastrophes such as earthquakes. It is recommended that data be encrypted before being uploaded to add extra security, however, if the encryption key is lost, this data may never be recovered.
Removing data from the cloud can present challenges as data is commonly spread across multiple storage devices and the processes or system followed to delete data can change from provider to provider. With the lack of physical visibility of the data stored it can be difficult to verify the secure deletion of data, meaning remnants of data may still be present in the Cloud and available to hackers should a breach occur.
Often unsecured interfaces can lead to hackers gaining access to data stored in the Cloud, which leaves company credentials open for hackers to leverage. By gaining entry to Cloud storage company systems, data and assets can be left available to unwanted or unauthorised personnel, which can result in malicious activities, often resulting in a financial loss or reputation for the company.
Data storage infrastructure
Companies that rely on data storage infrastructure within their workspace often reduce the risks of unauthorised users gaining access as the introduction of a third-party provider is removed. Although the cost and space required can be big, the physical control of data is hugely beneficial when paired with the added security of data encryption and security firewalls.
For unused and redundant data, secure removal services are available. Offering an array of services from end-of-life IT removal services to data erasure, DSA Connect will safely wipe data using tools certified by CESG and approved by the UK National Cyber Security Center, meeting GDPR standards. The added benefit of physical control ensures that all data is wiped with a verification certificate being provided, removing the risk of hackers gaining access to remnants left behind at the end of the process.