Risks and Benefits of Cloud Storage
The cloud has revolutionized the way we store, manage and access data, which is why it is not strange to see that it is such a popular solution nowadays. Many companies are taking advantage of the powerful functionality that cloud services support. However, the cloud is not perfect and there are a few things that need to be considered when you are using this technology. When you trust a third-party with your important files and folders, you are taking a considerable risk. Just like any other solution, cloud storage offers both benefits and risks. When you opt for a cloud service, it is important to consider the advantages, as well as the downsides and the potential security issues involved. These are the aspects that you need to keep in mind, before choosing a provider.
Assessing the risks
If you are thinking about using cloud storage services, be prepared to take some time to research the bets options available to find the right one for your needs. There are cases in which the risks are not only due to the fact that a technology is new and it hasn’t been tested. Sometimes, there may be issues caused because such technology was not used in the right way. Security is a major concern for companies and individual users, which is why many people prioritize solutions that are designed to offer the highest level of protection.
In the case of cloud storage, services that allow you to have your own encryption keys, instead of keeping the information themselves, would be the best options. In addition, it is important to apply other methods to enhance the security of your data. For instance, you can encrypt files before uploading them to the cloud storage location. This will prevent unauthorized access to your confidential data. Below is the list of the the main risks that you need to consider when using cloud storage services.
Before choosing and implementing a cloud storage service in your company, it is important that you carry out a good amount of research. Some services may rise the cost overtime, or maybe your storage needs increase. In any case, you need to consider the availability of the service and ensure that the costs remain affordable for your company
When you opt for a cloud storage solution, you are handing over your data to a third-party. It is very important that you choose a reliable provider.
There are many options available, but not all of them can be trusted. In fact, some cloud service providers appear out of nowhere and they disappear very quickly as well. You may end up losing your data if you select an unreliable provider.
While the majority of cloud service providers are designed to offer reliable performance, the performance also depend on your internet connection. If you don’t have a reliable internet connection, you may be unable to access your data and use it for collaboration purposes.
Another aspect that companies need to keep in mind is that there is a risk that their data is not stored in compliance with local laws if it is stored abroad. Administrators need to be familiar with their local regulations to make sure that their data is stored in accordance to them.
Benefits of cloud storage solutions
Although there are many risks that could affect your experience with cloud storage, there are also many advantages (particularly for enterprise customers) that shouldn’t be dismissed. The benefits are not only related to storage of data. They can also help to boost the productivity in a company. When a cloud storage solution is implemented, a company can have a disaster recovery plan in place. The cloud storage may not be the only part of the overall recovery plan, but it can be a practical part to help the company to get back on track if something unexpected happens. If your company stores their information in an off-site location, the possible impact of natural disasters is reduced.
If there is a flood, a fire, or a tornado, the data won’t be onsite and it will be possible to access it and keep it safe, even if the company’s premises have been affected by a disaster. Once you have carried out the necessary repairs, you will be able to recover the data online and restore it to the servers. Although cost can be one of the risks of cloud storage, it is also an aspect that can be mentioned in the list of benefits. You won’t need to buy and maintain hardware to backup all the systems, that cost is handled by the cloud storage provider.
If there is a flood, a fire, or a tornado, the data won’t be onsite and it will be possible to access it and keep it safe, even if the company’s premises have been affected by a disaster. Once you have carried out the necessary repairs, you will be able to recover the data online and restore it to the servers. Although cost can be one of the risks of cloud storage, it is also an aspect that can be mentioned in the list of benefits. You won’t need to buy and maintain hardware to backup all the systems, that cost is handled by the cloud storage provider. The company only has to pay a subscription fee, meaning that it is possible to save money by paying someone else to maintain the storage of the data.
You can improve the way in which the company works with the help of the cloud since it offers the chance to access data from any location. Important files can be accessed via the internet from anywhere, so you can work from home, or even while you are travelling. In addition, cloud storage supports collaboration functionality, meaning that employees can work together in a project. There are many cloud storage solutions for companies that allow users to save time by supporting simultaneous collaboration on documents, from any location. Managers can also rely on this technology to monitor their staff’s work. Here are the main benefits of using cloud storage services.
- The majority of cloud providers support 128 or 256-bit AES encryption. In addition, some services offer zero-knowledge security.
- As long as you have a good internet connection, you can access data from any location
- Cloud providers have implemented redundancy to make sure that files are not corrupted and to guarantee that they can be accessed.
- Cloud storage providers also offer security to protect a physical site, unlike external hard drives and USB drives, which could be easily stolen.
How to move to the cloud successfully
Carrying out an extensive research and thinking carefully about your company’s needs can make a major difference and will help you to avoid issues when using cloud storage services. IT admins need to spend enough time researching potential cloud storage services before selecting one. The aspects that need to be considered include location, security and reliability. Enterprise users also need to look for a provider that supports cloud storage management as a priority, that offers strong security measures to protect sensitive data and check that the service offers scalability. In addition, the location of the cloud storage provider’s physical services should be considered to ensure compliance with local laws.