The clouds that tickle our imagination come in many shapes and sizes, and are unreachable. Scientists say that the ones closest to Earth hover at about 6.500 feet. Knowing this, you might think that cloud computing — where personal data is stored and accessed over the internet — is also beyond the reach of others, especially cybercriminals. But that’s where you’re wrong. Dead wrong.
How popular is cloud computing anyway and why should you worry? The figures may surprise you. In 2010, the industry was valued at $24.65 billion. Today, it is way past the $100 billion mark and is expected to reach $150 billion by 2020, according to software review company TechJury.
Research company Gartner added that revenues from cloud services could reach $206.2 billion this year — up from $175.8 billion in 2018. The three sectors that are expected to spend a lot on cloud providers are manufacturing ($19.7 billion), professional services ($18.1 billion), and banking ($16.7 billion).
Cloud services are affordable
Online training institute Multisoft Virtual Academy says that small- and medium-sized businesses normally turn to the cloud because of its affordability. The cloud, they say, is 40% cheaper than an in-house data storage system.
On top of that, cloud technology is viewed as reliable, and 94% of businesses cited significant improvements in online security with the cloud. Because of this, Forbes believes that by 2020, 83% of company data will be stored in the cloud.
However, as cloud storage becomes common, experts predict that data security will be a big problem. This is because the convenience offered by cloud services comes at a price.
In its Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, McAfee said that sharing sensitive data in the cloud has increased by 53%, putting companies at risk for damaging attacks if important information is lost or stolen.
Some cloud services have flaws
While cloud data is often encrypted and appears gibberish to hackers, critics point out that the encryption keys that protect your data can be stolen or used without your knowledge. They added that some cloud storage services may have flaws, enabling cybercriminals to bypass their security systems.
The Conversation, one of Australia’s largest independent news sites, warned that cloud services aren’t perfect since their own apps might be compromised or hacked. This allows cybercriminals to read personal files either before they’re encrypted for uploading or after being downloaded and decrypted.
“An encrypted cloud service provider could even embed functions in its specific app that could leave data vulnerable. And, of course, if a user loses the password, the data is irretrievable,” it said.
Protect yourself from cloud threats
As cloud threats increase, McAfee revealed that 80% of companies have to deal with an average of at least one compromised account a month. So while the cloud brings new business opportunities, the company stressed that users and providers must understand how this affects security and think of better ways to protect themselves.
In the meantime, your best defense against cloud threats is to stick to a reliable service provider who has the experience and expertise to deal with whatever problems arise. Look for a provider who can give the necessary support and act quickly when you need help. This will make your trip to the cloud safe and worry-free.
Thinking of using the cloud? Know your options by consulting the friendly experts of Capstone IT. Many small businesses in the Rochester-Buffalo and West Palm Beach-Treasure Coast areas depend on us for excellent IT services and IT support. Call us today to see what you’re missing! To learn more about cloud migration, visit https://www.capstoneitinc.com/services/office-365/.