The short answer is yes, cloud storage can be hacked.
Cloud storage is a convenient and cost-effective way to store and access your data from anywhere, anytime and by multiple authorized users. However, cloud storage also comes with some risks, such as data breaches, malware infections, and unauthorized access.
Understanding Cloud security is now more important than ever. According to a 2023 TELUS Canadian Cloud Security Study, over 50% of all data from Canadian organizations is stored in the cloud and that on average, they are using 8 different cloud service providers.
Also according to the TELUS study, 89% of respondents experienced a cloud security incident within the last 12 months and on average experience 4 to 5 incidents per year with nearly half of those spreading into the organization’s on-premises environments. The top causes of these incidents include human error, known vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.
Some of the common ways that hackers can compromise cloud storage are:
- Password cracking – hackers and cybercriminals have a range of tools available that enable them to access cloud data including brute force techniques and phishing campaigns
- Configuration errors like open ports and unsecured application interfaces, as well as weak or non-existent encryption can be exploited
- Malware injection happens when an attacker installs malware onto a computer that enables remote commands that can read, modify, copy or download a database, or change data on a web site.
There are some obvious serious consequences of cloud storage hacking which can include data loss, theft, and manipulation. Attackers can hold your data for ransom, delete your data, tamper with it, sell it to competitors, leak it online or expose sensitive information. The cost of one of these breaches – particularly to SMEs – can be catastrophic. The average cost of these incidents to Canadian organizations last year was $438,000 – and that doesn’t factor in the loss of trust and reputational damage.
How to Prevent Cloud Storage Hacking?
The good news is that there are some effective ways to prevent cloud storage hacking and protect your data. Here are some of the best practices that you can follow:
- Encrypt your data: Encryption is the process of transforming your data into an unreadable format that can only be decrypted with a key. Encrypting your data can prevent hackers from viewing or stealing your data, even if they manage to access your cloud account. You can use encryption software or tools to encrypt your data before uploading it to the cloud, or choose a cloud service that offers built-in encryption.
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication: Passwords are the first line of defense for your cloud account, so make sure they are strong, unique, and hard to guess. You can use a password manager or generator to create and store secure passwords. You should also take advantage of two-factor authorization which requires a second verification step. This can prevent hackers from accessing your account even if they have your password.
- Monitor and audit your cloud activity: Monitoring and auditing your cloud activity can help you detect and respond to any suspicious or unauthorized actions, such as login attempts, file uploads or downloads, or configuration changes. You can have a managed IT service monitor your cloud for you or there are many cloud security tools and services that can track and alert you if any unusual activity comes up.
- Backup your data: Backing up your data is a way of creating copies of your data and storing them in a different location or device. Backing up your data can help you recover your data in case of data loss, corruption, or ransomware attacks.
Cloud storage has become an integral way to store, access and share your data, but it also comes with new and serious security risks. By following the tips above, you can prevent cloud storage hacking and protect your data from hackers.
Remember, cloud security is a shared responsibility between you and your cloud provider, so make sure you choose a reputable and reliable cloud service that offers the best security features and practices for your needs.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can make your cloud environments secure, empower and educate your employees, safely backup your data and monitor your systems for threats.