Cloud Computing: What are the risks?

The cloud is something we have been hearing a lot about lately. It has quickly become a billion dollar industry and everyone, even if they don’t know it, is using a cloud service to save their data. From the iCloud for Apple products to the Google cloud, most major tech companies offer this service. On the surface the cloud seems like an easy way to save large amounts of information in one place. It saves money and can be accessed from anywhere. But is the cloud safe to use? The simple answer is no. No cloud system is completely safe. Find out what risks you take when you use a cloud service.

You Are Giving Someone Else Your Data 
If a person or business uses an in-house storage system for their data, they have control of it at all times. When they give their information to a cloud provider, they are outsourcing their data needs. This means the service is responsible for performing updates, doing maintenance and making sure the files are safe and secure. The business or individual is trusting what could be potentially confidential information, to someone else.
Security Breaches 
Between potential hackers getting into the cloud, and employees who already have access to it, security breaches are common. If they can’t hack into the entire cloud, they get creative and work to get into personal accounts. They will send phishing emails to gain access to people’s passwords. Those who fall for it have just given that hacker free reign of their data. Even worse are inside hacks. Someone who works for the cloud service and has access to account information can get into accounts or give others access to it. Once they do that, anything saved to your cloud is available for them to steal, use or sell. We have seen this many times in recent years, from Edward Snowden’s breach of the NSA to the NSFW photos of celebrities leaked online. No information on a the cloud is safe from hacking.
Government Intrusion
Not only do cloud users have to worry about potential hackers, but the government can now gain access to your information. The NSA breach showed us that government programs created around surveillance are a very real thing. The Freedom of Information Act by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) revealed that the government claims the right to read personal online data without warrants. The government has also admitted to collecting metadata on U.S. citizens. This means they can look at all your cloud information without notifying you first.
Standards Are Out the Window
Every cloud service is unique. Meaning they all have different security measures, support systems and ways of managing their service. Because of this cloud users are never sure if the service they are using is the most secure. It also means that they can’t be guaranteed access to their cloud all the time. If a customer tries to gain access to their account, but the cloud is down due to an attack, how do they get their information? If they are lucky and using a service with good customer support they may get access immediately, but what if there is no customer service department? They may be waiting for hours, or even days before they see their data again. This can be scary for many people who solely use the cloud for information storage.

There will always be risks for those who choose to use cloud storage for their most sacred data. But the good news is there are other options for storage that can be utilized. Creating a home cloud using an network attached storage device will ensure that the data is secure and away from the prying eyes of Internet hackers. It connects to a computer, through a secure router allowing for remote access of information from anywhere. You get the same access as using an online cloud, just in a more secure format. Check out this article to learn more about how you can create your own personal cloud and access it remotely, from anywhere, using No-IP. Have you built your own cloud before? Let us know the setup you use in the comments below.