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Hard drive space is increasingly limited and it creates a major problem. Where should you store all those photos, music files, movies and documents that were once neatly organized on your laptop?

Today, people use the "Cloud" as a primary storage area for their files. At first, it takes a leap of faith. You can upload your files to this mysterious system and delete them from your machine to free up room. But you have to trust that you'll have access to them whenever (and wherever) you need.

Is it worth your trust? Let's explore safety concerns associated with the Cloud.

What It Is

Storing information in the Cloud doesn’t mean your data are floating around wirelessly like Mike Teavee's mishap in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Your photos and other documents are still stored on servers belonging to the companies that provide Cloud storage. When you sign up for Cloud storage, it’s more like renting a digital storage unit. You send your information to storage to free up space on your electronics and access your files digitally by signing into your Cloud account. Cloud services run on the Internet instead of a program installed on your computer, and you access your data by visiting your Cloud company's website.

Which Cloud Is Yours?

Just like when we look up at the sky, there's more than one Cloud, even though we talk about it like it's one big system. Many sites you may already use — such as Gmail or Facebook — store your data in their own Clouds. This allows millions of users to access the sites at a time. Individual businesses also have private Clouds for their employees and customers. This lets people share information among different computers.

There are also big public Clouds, which people buy into. You can purchase either a specific amount of storage space or an unlimited amount on an annual basis from whatever Cloud company you select. So far, there haven't been any major security breaches on the public Cloud, but there are plenty of examples of misconfigured AWS buckets putting data at risk.  So, security policies must extend to corporate data stored in the cloud.

Data Is Encrypted

Regardless of the kind of Cloud, the data that's stored there is encrypted. Common storage systems like Dropbox, Amazon Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and many others do this. Encryption makes stored user data look like gibberish to anyone who doesn't have the key.

However, this doesn't mean that the key itself is secure. Most services store these keys rather than have the user themselves unlock their data. This means you won't lose your key. But it also means the key can get into the wrong hands.

It's Safer Than Local Storage

One thing that makes the Cloud safer for your data than just keeping it on your machine is the obvious. You can't accidently spill a glass of water all over the Cloud and fry it. The Cloud won't get stolen. You can't drop the Cloud.

Even if you're careful with your machine, all security measures on the Cloud are most likely stronger than anything on most personal devices. This doesn’t mean there’s no longer a risk.  It’s important to remember that if an endpoint device used to access cloud services is compromised, the attacker gets the same access as the authorized employee.  So, it’s vital to put in place secure methods of authentication, including multi-factor authentication, and to educate staff about the importance of securing confidential login information.

Choosing a Trustworthy Cloud Security Solutions

Every year, more and more individual users and companies are using the Cloud. In fact, this service is growing faster than the rest of the Internet Technology business. It's vital to find a cloud security solutions vendor that's able to balance customer service and security with cost-effectiveness. Check out Kaspersky Cloud Antivirus and see what we have to offer for your cloud storage security needs.

Products

For consumers: Free Cloud Antivirus

For small businesses: Endpoint Cloud Security

For enterprise: Hybrid Cloud Security

How Secure Are Things You Store 'In the Cloud?'

New laptop models may be lighter and smaller, but it comes at a cost
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