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Protecting Your Critical Data on the Cloud

For many, cloud storage seems like the most secure option available when it comes to sharing or archiving data. The reliability, accessibility and efficiency of today's cloud service providers are just too good to pass up. However, despite the stellar reputation of cloud computing, your data is still susceptible to any number of cloud-based threats.

Server Crash or Outage

Your data cannot simply be stored in thin air. Even when it resides in the cloud, data needs to be stored in some sort of physical device. In most cases, this device exists as a physical server located in a remote data center. As such, it's important to look at the amount of uptime offered by today's cloud providers before making a final decision.

Regardless of any claims regarding uptime, unexpected crashes and service outages do occur. In fact, a 2011 crash was blamed for the permanent loss of data contained within the cloud services of Amazon EC2. Although this specific incident happen over five years ago, it underscores some of the risks associated with cloud-based storage.

In order to combat this, your best bet is to maintain localized backups of any mission-critical or sensitive data. While this does involve extra effort on your behalf, you'll benefit from the amount of redundancy offered by having two backups that are easily accessible during an emergency situation.

DDoS Attacks

Currently, the majority of cyber-attacks that are performed on websites, services or businesses come in the form of a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS. Unfortunately, those who rely on cloud services are not exempt from this common threat. In fact, a company known as Code Spaces had to close their entire business after a DDoS attack targeted their Amazon EC2 control panel in 2015.

Hacked Passwords

In some cases, hackers are able to gain access to a cloud server by using a valid password from an active user. Exactly how the password was obtained is moot, as there are numerous methods a hacker might use to obtain the credentials of a legitimate account. Once inside the system, however, a malicious user might have access to critical data, classified documentation and, in some cases, personal information. Hackers are able to wreak havoc in other ways to, including deleting files en masse or uploading a virus.

Combating password hackers can be a difficult task. While there are a plethora of tips, tricks and best practices when it comes to creating a password, even the most strongest and random of passwords are capable of being hacked. In this case, it's best to use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters, as well as a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, when creating your password.

Moreover, never, under any circumstances, should you share your password with others. This simply provides hackers with another avenue to use when attempting to gain access to your system. You'll also want to avoid using the same password for multiple logins, as any hacker who gains access to one of your accounts will then be able to access them all.

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