In today’s world, connectivity plays a key role. There can be no compromise – we need to have access to data anytime, anywhere. Cloud storage can be a good way to do this, but it is not without its drawbacks.
Advantages of storing data in the cloud
Data in the cloud is primarily about the convenience of use. We can use them on any device, whether they are photos, movie files, or text files. It also does not matter whether we use them on a company laptop, phone or desktop computer.
Storing data in the cloud can also bring financial benefits. We don’t have to invest in physical media. Instead, take out a subscription – another fixed cost, but this choice can be more cost-effective. It significantly reduces entry thresholds. The server of our enterprise at the start does not have to be 50 TB – the right service is enough.
Cloud computing is the basis of distributed teams. It is the key to effective company management in the era of coronavirus. However, there are opponents of such technologies, who point out mainly to privacy problems. Despite this, there are no other solutions so convenient and easy to adapt at the moment.
Storing data in the cloud – disadvantages
The risk of data leakage keeps thousands of people awake at night – including businesses, private users, employees or celebrities. Privacy is very important these days. We need to ensure that we don’t sell it completely. However, we trade it all the time, for example, by using Android services and getting a better standard of living because of it.
For certain files, we are particularly keen to keep them to ourselves. It’s not just about specific photos or creative works written for the “drawer”, whose greatest advantage is that no one will ever see it. For example, many of us manage personal data covered by RODO. Sometimes we work with entities that apply a confidentiality clause to us. We are (at least partially) responsible for this information – as companies, employees, local government entities.
Leakage of such data means huge trouble for us. The risk of information being stolen on the Internet is high – probably higher than if you store data on your own computer. A coordinated attack on the cloud can end tragically.
What is more, we have to pay for such a service – and often quite a lot. Moreover, we can use access to the cloud only if we have access to the Internet. Usually it is not a big problem, but in some situations it is an argument in favor of other data carriers.
There is another dark side of storing data in the cloud. In fact, we do not always know what the administrator will do with them. It is increasingly being said that governments, intelligence and various organizations are using the data. This may seem like a conspiracy theory, but let’s remember the numerous doubts that have dominated the media recently. On the one hand, we have India, which recommends deleting Chinese apps because they acquire sensitive data, on the other hand, the US government systematically attacks Huawei. This is part of the political game, but the concerns have some basis in reality. We can never be completely sure about where our data will eventually land.
What to look for when choosing cloud storage?
Commercial users should focus first and foremost on cyber security – an absolute must. In this case, there are two strategies to choose from: buying cloud from a local provider or using reputable cloud-computing solution providers that operate internationally.
Any company that deals with storing data in the cloud should offer certain security features. For the largest entities, we can usually count on more reliable solutions in this area. However, such companies are also more vulnerable to attacks. Few hackers will take aim at an unrecognized database that has its own specifics. In the case of services of the largest entities, some even do it for no reason. So it’s worth reading the security systems assumptions in the service information and reading the reviews of the provider in question. You should also pay attention to the dates of any security problems – security audits and improving the tightness of the system is an ongoing process.
Commercial users will focus heavily on the cost of a given service. There are many of them on the market – they offer different prices per 1 GB. We should be wary of storing sensitive data in the cloud unless we really trust the service. A better choice for such applications will be a NAS server or a special computer without access to the network, which will serve as a data warehouse.
It’s also worth answering the question of whether we actually need the cloud for data. Many users can safely limit themselves to, for example, consuming content from streaming services without the need to save full AVI versions of movies on their computer. The same goes for music and many other aspects of life. Even if we don’t switch to cloud computing, the company we use can. We will benefit as well – and at a subscription or subscription price.