Sensitive Info : Is your Business stored safely in the Cloud?

Once upon a time, files lived on your main hard drive only with possibly an external hard drive as backup. People who wanted to send and share files had little choice but to attach them in an email. It was inconvenient, to say the least. Then, it all changed in 2007 when the cloud first went mainstream. Suddenly, you were no longer limited by distance. You could store all your backups, programs, and files online and access them from anywhere. Businesses eagerly embraced the cloud and already a future is predicted where individual hard drives are things of the past.

But how safe is the cloud? Can your business really trust it with sensitive information? The answer might surprise you. Cloud Storage Advantages of the Cloud

The advantages of the cloud are many. You can send and receive large files without having to worry about size limits. You can have a backup of your work that is not dependent on your physical location. This way, if disaster strikes your home or business, all your data is still safe. You can also access all your data across multiple devices. Even when you travel out any where across the world, a simple mobile device can access all your home or business files.

Also Read : Common Questions about Cloud Storage

A Dark Cloud on the Horizon

Like every major technological advancement, there’s a darker, less-friendly side to the cloud. Specifically, it revolves around security. Compared to the rest of the Internet, the cloud is still in its infancy. However, hacking is not. It’s feared that clever hackers will be able to access all the information uploaded to the cloud and wreak havoc with your online world. This fear isn’t without some justification, however. Not too long ago, famed tech writer Matt Honan had his digital life decimated by just such a hacker. Within one hour, all his files were gone, and someone was posting racial and homophobic slurs to Twitter in his name. This incident was picked up by the news and soon went viral. More importantly, it exposed some deep security problems within some of the biggest names in the industry.

Also Read : Security issues with Cloud Computing – How to deal with it?

How to Know If Your Cloud Is Secure

When it comes to choosing clouds, there are two very important features to look for; in particular, the strength of a given cloud provider’s brand name and whether it has an SSL certificate. There are currently no regulations or recognized standards on what formally constitutes a ‘cloud system’. That means that anyone can buy a server and call it a cloud. However, this means it’s really an off-site server and not truly a cloud service. These types of ‘clouds’ are easily recognized by the fact that the uptime is limited. Real clouds have 100% uptime, because they have multiple servers located in multiple countries.

The SSL certificate is another way to verify that your cloud host is secure. A company with an SSL certificate is encrypting your data. In other words, anytime you upload or download data, it’s scrambled. This data can be unscrambled through the use of a digital key. This key is located on your devices and on the cloud, but nowhere else. Without the digital key, a hacker can’t make sense of the information they stole, even if they intercepted it during a transfer to your own device.

Again, though, one of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a cloud is to go with a respected brand name. When you choose a brand name, you can rest assured that the company isn’t really just someone working from home. Large, trusted companies have full-time staffs to keep your data secure. After all, they have a reputation to protect.

The Cloudy Face of Computing’s Future

Simply put, cloud computing is the future and it’s unarguably here to stay. The convenience of these services ensures their survival. While future clouds probably will be completely secure, there are ways to ensure your cloud’s security, even today. When choosing a cloud provider, this means always choose a brand name that uses SSL security (as already mentioned). Doing this will ensures that your provider won’t disappear unexpectedly and will always have staff on hand to deal with any potential security issues.

Additionally, take precautions to guard your passwords and institute a policy of only making secure passwords. If you’re a business owner, you’ll want to consider using a provider that offers a way to deactivate phones and devices whose security have been compromised. When you know what you’re doing with a cloud, you never have to worry about your digital life being destroyed. So what steps you are taking to store your business safely in the cloud? Tell us in the comments.