Hit the share button below, and let us know your thoughts on this topic!

Data is very crucial in the computing world, as it is the backbone of every information received or sent. There is much important data for both individuals and organizations. It carries both accessible and inaccessible details, and its loss can cause more problems than other damages. Which explains the importance of storing data effectively.  While there are different ways to store data, cloud data storage protection is one of the most commonly used methods. Especially for very important data, mostly by organizations. 

Related: What is Data Security – Why is Data Security Important

Cloud storage is a way to store digital files on servers that are located in different places from your computer. A third-party provider takes care of the servers and is in charge of hosting, managing, and protecting the data that is stored on its infrastructure. However, does storing on a cloud server completely protect your data? Well, the answer is NO, and that is why you need to know about Cloud Data protection, even after storing your data on cloud servers. 

What is Cloud Data Protection?

Cloud data protection involves practices designed to secure company data stored in cloud environments. This encompasses protecting data wherever it is located, whether at rest or in motion and regardless of whether it’s managed internally or externally by a third party.

This practice has grown in importance as more businesses abandon traditional data centers. Instead, they prefer to store their applications and data in the cloud. According to a 2018 survey by IDG, a leading technology media company, 73% of businesses have already moved applications or infrastructure to the cloud. An additional 17% planned to do so in the coming year.

Related: SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS: Choosing the Right Cloud Service for Your Business

Cloud data protection encompasses data storage as well as security. “Data at rest” refers to stored data, whereas “data in motion” describes data that is being transferred. Cloud data protection is more than just keeping data safe from unauthorized access. It also entails ensuring that sensitive data is preserved and recoverable in the event of loss or corruption. Thus, it is critical to the security and resilience of a company’s cloud-based data assets.

Can Data Stored on Cloud Servers be Lost?

Yes, data stored on cloud servers may be lost. Despite the advanced technology and security measures in place, a variety of factors can contribute to data loss. These include human error, cyber-attacks, system failures, and natural disasters. For example, a major corporation may experience a ransomware attack that locks and potentially deletes critical data, or an employee may accidentally delete important files.

Related: 5 Ways to Prevent Data Loss and Server Interruptions

According to the 2022 Thales Cloud Security Study, 45% of organizations surveyed have experienced a cloud-related data breach. Furthermore, the reliance on cloud storage means that any loss can have serious consequences, disrupting operations and causing financial and reputational harm.

How does Data from the Cloud Server get lost?

Data on cloud servers can get lost due to several causes:

Human Error: Accidental deletions or incorrect data management can easily result in data loss. Employees may delete important files or incorrectly configure data settings.

Cyberattacks: External threats such as hackers and ransomware can attack cloud servers. These attacks frequently attempt to steal or damage data. For example, ransomware encrypts data and renders it inaccessible until a ransom is paid.

Malicious Insider Activity: Employees or contractors with access to the cloud may intentionally delete or steal data. This could be done out of spite or for monetary gain.

Technical Failures: Issues such as software bugs or hardware malfunctions in cloud infrastructure, can corrupt or erase data. If a cloud service provider’s server fails, data loss may occur if backups are not kept up to date.

Natural Disasters: Physical damage to data centers caused by fires, floods, or earthquakes can destroy servers and the data they contain.

See Also: The Importance of Regular Data Backups: Safeguarding Your Digital Assets

Cloud Data Protection and Security Challenges

In order to effectively protect their data, organizations must overcome a number of challenges related to cloud data protection and security.

Integrity: Systems need to be carefully built so that only authorized users are able to access them. To avoid unauthorized actions, this involves making sure that permissions for adding, deleting, and altering data are strictly regulated.

Locality issues: These come from having to abide by different data regulations based on where the data is used, stored, and collected. Managing data locality in cloud environments can be challenging; this calls for systems that precisely specify and regulate the location of data at all times.

Confidentiality:  Maintain data security in accordance with its level of sensitivity to ensure confidentiality. This entails limiting readability of the data by encrypting it and limiting access rights. To keep these security precautions in place, administrative credentials and encryption keys must be kept safe.

Storage security: Businesses must rely on their suppliers to protect the networks, data centers, and physical infrastructure that house their data.

Encryption: Data protection solutions need to handle encrypted traffic with efficacy. This is especially important for SaaS applications that use secure, encrypted connections, as it helps prevent data exposure and misuse.

Protection gaps: They can be found between various security tools, including CSPMs, SWGs, and CASBs. While each of these tools contributes a piece to the data protection puzzle, they frequently lead to redundancies, overlaps, and the inability to see and control how data is exposed across applications.

Poor user experience: Outdated security infrastructure may be the cause of this. Applications may lag and users may become irritated if internet traffic is routed through antiquated security devices. Modernizing these systems is frequently costly and impractical, particularly in light of the expanding trend of work-from-anywhere and increased remote access.

5 Best Practices  to Ensure Cloud Data Protection

To effectively protect cloud-stored data, several key security measures must be implemented. These include selecting reputable cloud vendors with robust security protocols, employing advanced encryption techniques, enforcing strict access controls, securing all end-user devices, and implementing a zero-trust security framework. By adhering to these best practices, businesses can protect their data from unauthorized access and cyber threats, ensuring that their information remains secure and confidential in the cloud.

Evaluate Server Security

Choose cloud vendors with strong internal controls and robust security tools. Ensure they offer service-level agreements that maintain proper protections. Verify their compliance certifications to meet regulatory standards.

Implement Zero Trust Framework

Adopt a zero-trust approach to security, which involves verifying everything trying to connect to your system before granting access. Use context like user identity, device, application, and content to determine trust levels.

Encryption and Authentication

Enable both in-transit and at-rest encryption offered by your cloud provider. Additionally, encrypt data before uploading it. If file-level encryption isn’t feasible, consider sharding your data across different locations to enhance security.

Secure End-User Devices

Implement endpoint protection solutions, especially for devices under BYOD (Bring Your Device) policies. These solutions help monitor and control how data is accessed and prevent security breaches from unsecured personal devices.

Restrict Access with Strong Verifications

Implement strict credential policies and access permissions. Ensure that users and applications access only the data they need. Regularly audit permissions and enforce strong, unique password policies to prevent unauthorized access.

Benefits of Cloud Data Protections for Organizations 

Cloud storage protections provide significant benefits to organizations by improving security and compliance across various aspects of data handling. These protections help in securing both data and applications, especially when dealing with remote or hybrid working models. Increased visibility into cloud architectures strengthens security measures, making sensitive data less vulnerable to breaches.

Implementing a robust cloud data protection program also streamlines access governance. By setting clear context-based guidelines, organizations can ensure that only authorized users access specific data. This controlled access is crucial in maintaining data integrity and confidentiality.

As businesses rely more on cloud services, they face challenges such as a lack of transparency about where data is stored, risks from third-party hosting, and the complexities of managing security across multiple cloud providers or hybrid setups. Cloud storage protections help to reduce these risks by improving transparency and consistency in data security practices.

Furthermore, cloud storage protections are essential for complying with stringent regulatory requirements. As data breaches become more common, laws like GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA impose strict rules on data usage and privacy. Cloud protections help organizations meet these regulations, avoiding hefty fines and reputational damage.

How High is the Risk of Losing Cloud Data?

The risk of losing cloud-stored data is not alarmingly high, but it is certainly not negligible.  Human error, cyberattacks, technical failures, and natural disasters are all potential threats. Cloud services reduce many risks through advanced security and redundancy measures. However, issues such as accidental deletion, hacking, and severe physical damage to data centers can cause data loss. Organizations should implement strong data management and security protocols to further reduce these risks and ensure reliable data protection in the cloud.

See Also: How to Retrieve Data from External Drives in 2023

Conclusions: Cloud Data Protection and Practices

Cloud data protection is essential for safeguarding critical information stored in cloud environments. Effective practices involve a combination of robust security measures and proactive management strategies. Organizations must carefully evaluate the security capabilities of cloud vendors, implement strong encryption, and enforce rigorous access controls.

Additionally, adopting a zero-trust framework enhances security by verifying all access requests based on context. By adhering to these practices, businesses can mitigate the risks associated with cloud storage, including human error, cyberattacks, and technical failures, thereby ensuring their data remains secure and compliant with regulatory standards.

Hit the share button below, and let us know your thoughts on this topic!