Data Security in OneDrive and iCloud - Security Explained in Detail by Devin Smith


The enhancement and growth of cloud storage have evolved the way individuals and entities work. This is something that was adopted with time and it became a necessity to store data in real time. To prove this, 73 percent of companies were questioned, among which all of them rely on at least one cloud-based storage application.

The major benefits of using such an app include accessing the information (documents, data) that can be restricted for single use only, save restore and add files in real time that encourages motivation and teamwork; the list is exhaustive.  

Nowadays, keeping data secure and protected is a big concern as hackers are always on a lookout to find ways for accessing files in the cloud and hinder services that cause malware and different virus related issues. Data breaches are not easy to find and encounter. It may take up to 191 days or more for a company to come across it and a further 66 days to handle and control it.

Among the popular cloud storages, OneDrive and iCloud are the prominent cloud solutions with millions of users globally. The critical question is, how encrypted are these clouds and how safe are its users?

Microsoft OneDrive Security

Microsoft OneDrive is a big corporation and a leading tech giant which has a proud history of manufacturing, producing and delivering high-end quality products and services. Among which its OneDrive Cloud storage is famous for offering handy features. Point of concern is how does it keep user data safe?

OneDrive cloud uses an SSL encryption which keeps files and data safe in an encrypted tunnel. There is a conflict here as your data saved on your cloud would not be protected and encrypted unless you are a business customer. This is surprising as the majority of the companies using OneDrive use a business account, and small scale enterprises use a free account that gives you a 5GB limit.

This leads to a big question that does the cloud service keeps user information safe in their spreadsheets and files? That is a mystery for now, however, users can ensure their privacy and security by keeping an eye on the website's SSL certificate.

OneDrive further has a feature to sync all the attachments in Outlook to the cloud server that potentially causes security issues if there are some sensitive files over the cloud. Business account holders will always benefit as the encryption for their account, files and data is on a file-by-file basis which reduces the chances of a potential attack.

Two-step verification needs to be manually activated as it is not set by default. All you require is to sign up on the account from a new device or browser and Microsoft will send a security code asking is ‘if this is you.’ Enter the code received, and access will be granted.

Apple iCloud Security

The name itself speaks of elegance and high end that boosts users confidence in the brand. Apple provides quality products and service that have a different niche of users. Among which they offer a known cloud service called the iCloud storage facility which is known to withstand cyber attacks but no every security tool faces one or the other attack that makes it vulnerable.

One of the biggest attacks occurred on iCloud targeted big shot celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst which invaded their privacy in a way that Apple was seriously doomed. Attacks like these have caused serious damages to the company as people file lawsuits.

Occasional breaches have occurred which have been fixed in the past, and Apple takes these security breaches very seriously and offers robust options to increase and boost user safety that includes two-factor authentication just as OneDrive offers. It works good enough by requesting a six-digit code every time you log in from a  different device such as (iPhone, iPad, etc.)

Two-factor authentication has become a dire need as the services offered have made it compulsory to use it to enhance security. Logging in your device may take some time as the two-factor authentication goes through a process of dialing in a code. But it is a strong, reliable feature to keep data safe and your account as well. Login details will be impossible to penetrate, and breaching account would be hard.

Through two-factor authentication, the service uses TLS/SSL and 128-bit AES which provides a lesser degree of encryption than the AES 256-bit. iCloud is developed to maximize the security of data being sent and received from the service to reduce the danger of unauthorized access.

iCloud also offers a “key chain” data protection which manages sensitive and critical data of credit card details and passwords. It further protects messages, contacts and apps on your iPhone and MacBook.

Final Words

We can see multiple differences and similarities in both OneDrive and iCloud as iClouds encryption solely depends on the additional firewalls they provide. Even if your data or account is idle, your data will still be safe and secure.

For business accounts, OneDrive gives an edge over iCloud because of the per-file security that is in place when at-rest encryption. With OneDrive, each file will be encrypted and will withstand cyber attacks. This way if one data is compromised, it won't affect the rest of the files. But for free account holders, data will be at risk.

Both the clouds offer two-factor authentication as a security feature which needs to be updated and iCloud’s Keychain is something not to be overlooked.

Both brands are at the top of their game, and it is hard to give a definite answer of which one is better.

About the author:
Devin Smith is a tech-mech by profession and IT Security Analyst at ReviewsDir. He is passionate into finding variant indulgence of the Tech World. He has studied Computer Science and now turning his exposure into the experience; when you find him playing soccer, it must be his spare hours.

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May 6, 2019
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