The notion that user information in the cloud storage is adequately backed up is widespread. Cloud-based programs and storage services are often not to blame for the loss of data, but they are not designed to guard against inadvertent or criminal activities.

Yes, your data can be lost on the cloud as well. Data is stored on servers and servers can get physical damage as well as software-based damage. Therefore, your data can eventually be lost on a cloud-based storage solution. 

This article will explain how can someone lose the data which has been uploaded to cloud storage. Furthermore, the possible ways and methods of prevention will be discussed. Lastly, the consequences of loss of data will be discussed. 

What Exactly Is The Cloud?

Simply described, cloud computing is the mix of hosted programs, remote server connectivity through the internet, and data storage. All of these apps and data are kept in “the cloud.” 

Numerous individuals and companies utilize the internet in some way, sometimes without their knowledge. Email apps and social networks are two of the most prevalent uses.

Every day, millions of individuals across the world upload information to the cloud. When you purchase a new album from your favorite artist on iTunes, your iPhone may upload it to the cloud, where it can be accessed from several devices. 

The same may be done with downloaded photographs, movies, applications, and others that are saved in the cloud. It is more likely that such an employee will remove something they will need after two weeks than that a storm will destroy all of Google’s servers. 

Since the COVID-19 epidemic, the use of the cloud model, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) had reached unprecedented levels. This cloud-based service’s rising popularity is mostly due to its user-friendliness, adaptability, scalability, and affordability. 

According to Gartner, Inc., worldwide expenditure on public cloud services by end users is projected to reach about $600 billion by 2023. 

SaaS technologies, such as Google Workplace, Microsoft 365, and Salesforce, provide enticing alternatives to conventional on-premises IT architecture. Users of SaaS services have access to potent tools that boost productivity and cooperation. 

In addition, there is no need to download, update, or maintain them, allowing users to concentrate on their jobs instead of spending time-solving problems. Unquestionably, SaaS solutions provide various benefits to organizations of all sizes. 

Despite all the advantages of SaaS apps, cloud data loss remains a danger. It is believed that 99.9% of businesses utilize at minimum one SaaS service to manage their operations.

If your company is among those that store mission-critical information in the cloud, it is important to understand how the loss of data happens in the cloud and why you need to back up your valuable SaaS data.

History Of Cloud-Based Storage

Numerous desktop PCs are connected to a cloud-based data center in this illustration of cloud computing. When individuals and organizations began portraying the web as a cloud, the cloud came into being. 

The name of the cloud as we know and see it today was derived from these illustrations. No wonder so many people are confused. Nowadays, cloud computing refers to the capacity for users to remotely access data, apps, and services through the internet. 

Enabling remote connection – and keeping anything safe and secure – is what it’s all about. What happens when professional data is stored on the cloud? Although the loss of personal data is heartbreaking, the implications for commercial data are considerably higher. 

A few examples of company data kept on the cloud include business contact lists, client information, subscriber lists, and payment data. What occurs when this knowledge is lost?

Where Does My Cloud Data Get Stored?

It is important to know where cloud data has been physically kept. The data and apps stored on the cloud really aren’t simply spinning aimlessly.

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Data and apps saved in the cloud are kept on separate servers in data centers situated all over the globe. 

Data center operators provide storage space to corporations and individuals for the purpose of storing their data. Everybody’s data is kept confidential and stored in its own place within the data centers.

Is Storing Information In The Cloud Safe?

The cloud could be among the most secure locations for storing data. As a result of being kept in several locations, cloud data is generally extremely difficult to lose. 

If you ever have trouble getting your cloud data, you may always recover it from another data center. Due to the decentralized structure of data center storage, it is significantly safer than on-site backups.

Lost Data In The Cloud

The danger of data loss exists in the cloud, just as it does with hardware-based storage technologies. 

There are security solutions for both scenarios, including backups, security software, redundancy, and more. Before we examine these in further detail, let’s analyze how data is lost.

Ways That Cloud Data Might Be Lost

There are several methods for losing data in the cloud, despite its security-oriented design. Occasionally, technology malfunctions, causing computers to freeze or backup copies to be lost. Sometimes, servers fail and the information they hold is lost. 

All of these are possible causes of data loss, as well as the cloud is not immune to human mistakes or technological failure. In no specific order, the following are the three most prevalent causes of loss of data in the cloud:

1. User Fault / Accidental Damage

Unintentional deletion may be the most prevalent cause of data loss while using cloud storage. However, not all mistakes or scenarios can be averted.

A collaborator may remove a shared project inadvertently, or you may delete a trashed project only to discover that it is restarting. Information can also be damaged or rewritten accidentally by users or third-party applications.

Nevertheless, cloud data is susceptible to the same risks as the rest of the internet. In addition to hardware and software failure, user mistakes in the cloud can also result in data loss.  

Mat Honan lost a single password to a breach, but his identities were housed underneath the same cloud-based storage service (known as daisy-chaining. 

Therefore, the hacker was able to gain remote access to his email account and delete all the information on his MacBook, iPhone, and iPad. Everything, from vital documents to family photographs, was irretrievably lost. 

2. Overwriting Data

It is also feasible for individuals or software to erroneously overwrite information. SaaS systems have the potential to cause enormous data loss. SaaS apps store vast quantities of data that are continuously updated. 

These applications store and continually update extensive data collections. Important data has the ability to replace existing information and can partially obliterate data sets as a result.

When huge data sets are brought into the program via bulk downloads or when connected third-party apps are utilized to handle the data within the basic SaaS service, data overwriting is a regular issue.

3. Data Loss Due To Service Providers

Numerous issues can result from missing data, including damage to the image and reputation, as well as litigation from consumers whose sensitive information has been disclosed and/or deleted. 

There are, however, measures to reduce the risk of losing data and assure the security of cloud-stored data. Cloud storage choices provided by technology service companies offer vast storage space, reasonable cost, and, most importantly, solid security. 

When working with a cloud-based service provider across a cloud storage system, one has the most advanced available software programs and a group of highly-skilled professionals that can optimize your cloud services and minimize risks to your data.

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There are options available to limit hazards and ensure security for data storage, albeit it may never be ideal.

4. Cyber-Attacks 

Whenever you keep data on the cloud, you run the risk of a data breach. This storage type is of special interest to cybercriminals since corporations and consumers store vast amounts of data on cloud servers. 

A distributed denial-of-service assault can disrupt the organization of this entire data. Codespaces was forced to cease operations owing to data loss caused by the DDoS attack on their cloud storage server.

5. Oversights

Remember that data centers rely on humans, and individuals from all kinds of backgrounds make mistakes, such as those that result in data loss. 

Google “cloud storage and data loss” and you will quickly discover that human mistake has caused countless cloud storage providers to lose their customers’ data.

6. Security Violators

Data centers house vast amounts of data, and given that the people who use them worry enough about the data to put it there, it’s no surprise that hackers frequently target data centers.

The proliferation of dangerous viruses like ransomware is due to one simple fact: hackers are aware that we place a high value on our data. There are several instances of data centers getting compromised. 

In reality, security is unquestionably one of the main priorities for data centers throughout the world, and while this leads to ongoing improvements, cloud-stored data is never totally safe from hackers.

7. Energy and Server Failures

No matter how stable a server or its supporting infrastructure is, power outages will still occur. Certainly, data centers will also have backup systems in place, such as generators, but they are still susceptible to failure. 

In fact, a Ponemon Institute research indicated that the breakdown of such backup systems was the most frequent cause of data centers falling offline.

8. Malicious Behavior

People frequently remove data before leaving a position if they believe they will be fired or if they are upset with their manager or coworker. These scenarios can pose as an insider threat situation.

In addition, hackers or malicious insiders can circumvent security mechanisms to remove or damage data. Unreliable users, whether internal or foreign, are a reality and risk.

Why Is Cloud Storage Not Secure?

Since cloud storage capacity has been effective for a considerable amount of time, it is normal to think that everything is secure, especially since the transfer or backup procedure is transparent as well as automatic. 

A server crash/failure/outage involving Amazon’s EC2 cloud services permanently deleted some data. Although the loss of data was negligible in comparison to the overall amount of data held, it was devastating for several businesses. 

Chartbeat, a customer of Amazon, was required to notify its customers that 11 hours’ worth of past data had been permanently erased.

How To Avoid The Loss Of Cloud-Based Data?

Although the majority of risks to cloud-based are unanticipated, users may limit the loss by taking precautions. Here are some precautions to follow while registering for a cloud-based storage service and to avoid the loss of data stored on the cloud:

1. Establish Unique Passwords For Each Account

Verify your passwords for your accounts. Utilize the very same password for many services. If you replied yes, then maybe putting yourself in a position to lose data. Instead, use a master password to generate unique passwords for each account. 

There are many password management systems that can help you develop difficult-to-guess passwords and store them on devices you commonly use to access cloud-based storage services. 

However, you must secure your gadgets, as physical theft might compromise passwords.

2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Two-factor verification may not be failsafe, but it is a crucial step in protecting the data held in your systems from cyberattacks and other dangers. 

Ensure that you will be warned if a cybercriminal attempts to modify your login, and if security questions were required while establishing a password, use cryptic questions. 

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People using the services of Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter have easy access to multi-factor authentication options.

3. Examine Linked Accounts

Review accounts with exposure to your cloud storage that is connected. In the settings menu of Box or Microsoft services, for instance, you may examine your associated accounts. Remove any disconnected accounts that you have since closed. 

You do not want an inactive account to serve as a backdoor for hackers to get into your current account. Maintain clean lists on cloud storage providers and social networking sites.

4. Utilize A Secure Service Provider

Before storing extremely sensitive information in the cloud, it is essential to secure the data with a tool. In addition to backing and storage, you may also pick a provider of cloud services that enables local decryption or encryption of your data. 

It eliminates the need for data encryption software and minimizes the likelihood that server managers or service providers may get access to your information which is also termed zero-knowledge privacy.

5. Backup To Other Media

Don’t put everything on the cloud if you desire to have a decent probability of recovering data in the event of failures and outages. 

Back up your mission-critical data on a local server; although this may sound laborious, there are several programs with data export options that make the procedure smooth. 

Additionally, you can generate a few backups on external disks in order to prevent irreversible data loss.

6. Examine The Service Agreement Conditions

Despite the fact that terms and conditions agreements may seem cumbersome to read, they frequently contain critical information on privacy and security rules. 

Contact the service provider and customer service department about what a provision signifies, or use a search tool to read the thoughts of others if you have any concerns. 

If it is known that your cloud provider routinely modifies its terms and policies, request that the firm inform you of the change.

These measures will reduce the likelihood of cloud loss of data. Moreover, if there’s anything you’re unwilling to part with or anything you’re concerned an aggressive service provider would snoop on, remove it from the cloud, and put it on your server side.

You can only be as well-prepared as possible if you are a consumer or corporation utilizing cloud storage or contemplating the move. In addition to following the suggestions listed above, learn as much as possible can about service providers.

The data that you keep on the cloud is still physically existent on storage media, similar to what you have on your own devices. Your data storage medium (likely a hard disc drive) will be located on a server within a center. 

Importantly, the media utilized in these cloud services is exactly as susceptible as the technology you use at home or at the workplace. 

Yes, some providers can have comprehensive backups in place, but this does not guarantee that your cloud-stored data is impervious to data loss.

Conclusion

In light of the above-stated facts and circumstances, it can be reasonably inferred that data stored on cloud storage is not totally protected from loss or damage. Therefore, preventive measures are required to be taken. 

It is all too tempting to think that data kept on a personal phone and through a cloud provider is safe from data loss. However, it is important to remember that all storage media, even that used in data centers, is susceptible to data loss.

In order to construct a full backup that is genuinely solid, you must keep your essential data on at least two computers and devices and investigate the security and backup mechanisms of any cloud storage provider before registering for their services.