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Posted by Dan on 09-Apr-2021 16:14:48

How secure is cloud storage?

There is a wealth of third party providers out there vying for business such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and iCloud – but how secure are they? With ransomware and hacking on the rise – it’s good to know your files are secure.


With cloud now becoming the dominant force in storage, there’s been a shift in how we look to secure our documents. As we’ve shifted away from the traditional office environment, it’s now more vital than ever that everyone who’s working from home has access to the files they need. Readily available, are services we’ve known for some time such as Dropbox and iCloud – but they tend to do better for personal files. When it comes to businesses, they’ve often gone to services such as OneDrive and Google Drive to hold critical files. They’re not the only option however. Cloud storage can be done outside of these ecosystems and on your own cloud servers, accessible as any file would be with a simple virtual desktop from home.

Google Drive

Google Drive has never fallen foul to a major cybersecurity incident, making it one of the better options available. They’ve used https since inception on all their services and use two factor authentication and SSL encryption. The only slight flaw is that it uses 128-bit AES encryption for resting data, however that is still strong in itself.


Business users can take advantage of AES-256 bit encryption on resting data, and permissions can be set for files and folders. There’s also lost and stolen protection on devices meaning you can unlink in the event of a potential breach. There’s been an improvement in SSL lately in response to the growing online threats of accessing data, meaning it’s improving security all the time. There have been several breaches though. In 2016 there were roughly 68 million passwords leaked online stemming from an earlier breach in 2012, but Dropbox insisted that no user accounts had been compromised.


It’s rare for businesses to consider iCloud for online storage, but some do and they get 128-bit AES as standard, instead of 256-bit. A unique element of iCloud is that encryption keys are defined at device level and as such Apple are unable to access any files or the data needed to decrypt. They of course use SSL for data in transit too. The issue iCloud has faced is that there have been breaches, but mainly due to user error, rather than hacking. They’re still recovering from this, as even though it was a phishing hack, there are still questions about the ease of which the files were accessed and distributed.


OneDrive manages to fly somewhat under the radar in terms of cybersecurity, as being owned by Microsoft, they consistently deal with Windows hack attempts, rather than OneDrive. What OneDrive does exceptionally well is that data is encrypted using BitLocker on the hard drive at rest. Microsoft Cloud handles encryption while in transit on a per-file basis. This means if ever there is a breach, hackers can only ever access one file at a time instead of a plethora or database, making the whole system very secure. Combine this with two-factor authentication as standard and it proves to be very secure indeed. User error is usually the only breach OneDrive has to deal with, as it’s never really been the target of a large hack or breach.

A brief summary

Knowing what platform to use can be advantageous. As a business it gives you the peace of mind that your data is being held in a secure environment. It’s difficult to choose the right cloud storage provider from the third parties listed, but if moving your files to the cloud is something on your radar, then please do get in touch.

Topics: cloud hosting, cloud, cloud costs, cloud storage, storage, cloud security


Written by Dan

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