Cloud networks have many advantages when compared to traditional methods of file storage, say on hard drives, via on-site servers, or even at offsite data centers, for example. For one thing, the sheer amount of data that can be stored boggles the mind…it is seemingly limitless.
And then there is the fact that it tends to be far more cost-effective than other means of warehousing files. Plus, you can gain instant access to your data at a moment’s notice, making it an extremely efficient means of backing up important information.
However, there is the little issue of security to contend with, and since the cloud is a relatively new way to store information, there are definitely safety concerns (some of which may only be revealed over time). So here are just a few ways to ensure that all possible safety precautions are taken when using cloud storage for your files.
Keep Data Safe in the Cloud
Start on your end
The place to start with any type of data protection is by seeing what you can do on your own to ensure the safety and security of your files. Although you are entrusting them to a service provider you may still want to break up or collate data in a variety of ways to make it less susceptible to theft or corruption, or even encrypt files with your own software before sending it off for storage elsewhere. And you should always create difficult passwords for your cloud storage accounts and change them frequently to further reduce the likelihood of hacking.
Confab with your web host
Many businesses host websites that generate user data, whether it comes in the form of simple contact information (names and email addresses) or it entails much more personal data (credit card or social security numbers, for example). Either way you want to ensure that your data is safe at both the point of entry and all the way through long-term storage and use. So you should definitely take the time to contact your web host and find out what measures they have in place to ensure secure processing of data, especially since it will be sent from the host site to cloud storage.
Put your head in the clouds
Like any goods or services you plan to purchase, it’s in your best interest to shop around. So look into a number of vendors (don’t just go with biggies like Amazon or Google because they’re convenient and well known) and do some digging to find out which cloud networks have suffered breaches (ahem, Amazon). This could help you to decide which service provider will give you the level of security (and peace of mind) you’re looking for. Don’t forget to ask about third-party checks and balances to ensure that they are up to your industry standards, especially if your store accounting or medical data.
Read the fine print
Does anybody read the long-winded terms and conditions before clicking the “agree” button? Although this oversight may be acceptable (albeit ill-advised) in your private life, you definitely shouldn’t skip this important step when looking for cloud storage for business files. If the company you choose doesn’t provide adequate security or won’t take responsibility for breaches, you need to know before you agree to their terms. The more info you have, the better your decision to go with a particular network will be.
If you’re really worried about your data coming under attack in the cloud your best bet is probably to split it up amongst multiple networks for greater safety. This will entail more work on your end, but the trade-off is higher security.