The cloud is not a physical thing, it is a series of servers designed to connect companies, families, and individuals and the cloud is growing. A recent survey consisting of over a thousand IT companies, 48% of which having employee populations over 1,000, reported remarkable statistics regarding cloud usage and cloud growth. 95% percent of the surveyed companies reported cloud usage a 2% increase since 2015. This use is separated into two overarching categories, Public and Private. Public clouds are accessible to all, you only need a computer and an internet connection, an example of such is the newly released Adobe Creative Cloud, which has transformed applications such as adobe acrobat from a box set into a monthly subscription service. Public clouds connect us with strangers and acquaintances alike. Private clouds are more internal, such as the servers that allow employees to share and receive documents without having to even send an email. Private Cloud and Public Clouds are on the rise, 72%, and 89% respectively with regards to use in the surveyed companies. On average respondents of the recent survey also stated that 32% of their data is within public clouds and 43% of their data is held within a private cloud.
So, with the rise of cloud usage how can we keep our data safe? To start on many public clouds, companies such as Google and Microsoft require you as the user to enter a code and a password when logging in from an unfamiliar computer. This makes you aware when someone is trying to enter your accounts through foreign computers. While this method is secure, hackers who are invested in accessing your files can find ways around these text messages. A second and more secure way of keeping your information safe within your clouds is a physical key, similar to the keys that protect your car or your home you can now purchase a physical key to protect your online information. These keys work extremely well, as without one there is no way to access your accounts, databases, and information, an example of such is the Yubikey a small lightweight device you can carry on your keychain along with the rest of your keys.
While there are many ways to protect your data in the cloud, there is also a responsibility on your part to secure your own data assets. To do this may be as simple as having separate passwords for your most secure information to protect from chain hacking, one of the most common methods hackers will try is to use the same password for every important platform you have. However, to be more secure you can secure accounts through multiple security points if you have the key to the building you still cannot access the safe.
The Department of Commerce itself is looking to transfer its cyber security operations to the cloud, as of July 11, 2017, the DOC posted a Request for Information(RFI) regarding a transfer of many of their cyber security operations to a cloud service provider. This will benefit the Department of Commerce, the cloud will offer more space to hold documents while taking up less physical space.
Your information is important and that is why you should take the steps to secure it.
Editor’s note: Original Sources