How Secure Are My Documents in the Cloud?

As cloud storage becomes more widespread, data security is becoming a bigger issue. Data in the cloud is almost always stored encrypted, so an attacker needs to break the encryption before they can read the information. In addition, there are relatively simple ways in which users can increase the security of their data beyond what is built into the very systems they use.

What Is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage services allow you to store your files on their servers. With cloud storage, you store files. They are stored remotely until you need them, and then you can access them when you need them by connecting to any Internet-connected device that your storage provider has access to.

Security and privacy are the two most important things to consider when choosing the best cloud storage for your needs. You should make sure you choose a provider that uses zero-knowledge encryption, has a highly secure server infrastructure, and values privacy above all else.

Storage Space

An important feature when considering cloud storage is how much space you will be able to use. More space at a lower price would be ideal. For personal cloud storage, you may not need the highest and most expensive offerings, but if your cloud storage needs are business-related, more storage space or even unlimited storage may be important. Storage space is measured in GB (gigabytes) or TB (terabytes).


When you’re busy, the last thing you want is the technology that slows you down. When considering cloud storage options, you may want to prioritize speed. When we think about speed and cloud storage, we look at two factors:

  • sync upload speed;
  • content upload speed.

However, another thing to consider is that more secure storage with additional layers of security can be a bit slower due to encryption.

File Versioning

If you’ve ever lost your Internet connection while working on a document but were still able to restore previous versions of the document, you’ve experienced file versioning. File versioning refers to keeping multiple versions of a document over time.

Who Stores Passwords from the Cloud?

Commercial cloud systems encrypt each user’s data with a special encryption key. Most services store the key themselves, allowing their systems to view and process user data, such as indexing the data for future searches. These services also access the key when the user logs in with a password to unlock the data for use.

Undoubtedly, this is much more convenient than keeping the keys at home. Nevertheless, keep in mind that this method of storage is much less secure since just like regular keys, encryption keys can be stolen or misused without the knowledge of the data owner. In addition, some services may contain flaws in their security practices, making user data vulnerable.

What to Do? How to Protect the Data?

The most secure way is to combine both ways of storing keys. Before uploading data to the cloud, first, encrypt it using your encryption software. Then, upload the encoded file to the cloud. To access the file again, sign in to the service, download it, and decrypt it yourself.

Users will not be able to take advantage of many cloud services, such as real-time editing of shared documents and searching in cloud files. Besides, the cloud service company can still change the data by modifying the encrypted file before uploading it.

The best way to protect the data is to use authenticated encryption. This method stores not only the encrypted file but additional metadata that allows the user to determine if the file has been modified since it was created.