As cloud-based systems become increasingly common, more and more people are also wondering how secure they are. Many companies and individual users now make use of services like Google Drive, Dropbox and Box, and they’re naturally concerned about keeping their information private. In fact, these cloud-based services might enjoy millions more users if more people were certain that their information would be secure. So how secure are cloud-based systems?
The short answer is: more secure than you might think. One of the biggest advantages of cloud-based systems is the fact that you can effortlessly share your files for your friends or colleagues to view and even edit, without having to attach them to emails or upload them onto flash drives. This makes collaboration that much easier, which is why so many companies have already begun to integrate cloud-based systems into their workflow. Take for example Rocket Matter, a cloud-based legal software.
Working at a law firm typically requires you to bill hundreds of hours, and involves going through mountains of paperwork. Both tasks can be extremely time consuming and tedious. Rocket Matter makes timekeeping, invoice creation, and document handling so much more simple and efficient.
With just a few clicks of a mouse, you can track time and create all of your bills in one fell swoop using batch billing. You can upload all your case information onto a dashboard, and easily track progress and manage deadlines at a glance. Lastly, you can work together with your colleagues on a case, collaborating effortlessly by accessing shared files on the cloud.
How can we be sure our data in the cloud is secure? It basically boils down to these three things:
Cloud-based systems typically store at least three copies of each piece of data, and these are all stored in different locations. You would need to have all three copies disappear at exactly the same time from their different locations in order to lose your data permanently. Even then, data can usually be recovered, though it may take several days.
This is not the case for local machines. Most people have experienced at least once the gut-wrenching frustration when your computer crashes in the middle of a task, and you lose your work forever.
Data that is stored in the cloud is almost always kept in an encrypted form that would need to be cracked and decoded before anyone could read the information. As long as you take care of your passwords and provided you don’t lose them or share them with someone untrustworthy, only you can access the information you upload into the cloud. Once you’ve stored information in the cloud, it goes into a hard drive in a machine in a remote, heavily guarded data center. The “keys” you use to access your data are exceptionally secure so that intruders can’t get to it.
As mentioned above, storing data in the cloud allows you to easily share it with trusted collaborators, usually by simply creating a link or sending them an invitation to edit. This is much more secure than attaching and sending files via email, where a malicious party could intercept it. It is also more secure than sharing files on a USB drive, which could all too easily be misplaced or fall into the wrong hands.
At the end of the day, the information you store in the cloud is more likely to get compromised due to human error (misplaced passwords or failing to keep your computer updated to protect against viruses and malware) than it is because of a fault in the system. So do your part to keep your data secure, and don’t ever share your passwords, make them difficult to guess, and change them regularly. At the same time, don’t ignore prompts to update your computer—these regular updates are meant to keep your computer’s defense systems strong and invulnerable to cyber-attacks.