For easing the pain of monotonous back-up and lack of space, cloud storage might be the solution you need. Cloud storage services can provide a wide variety of back up features, in addition to enhanced mobility. In essence, you no longer have to worry about hosting back-up servers on site and you can view your data from anywhere provided you have an internet connection and the right credentials. So what are the benefits, as well as the risks? We go through it for you here.
What is cloud storage?
Basically, this is data retention technology with the goal to keep your company information stored at a remote location rather than on hard drives or disk-based storage. When a natural disaster strikes, it is soothing to know that you don't have to worry about losing potentially millions of dollars’ worth of data. Most people use some form of cloud storage whether it be through direct-to-consumer companies or business-to-business, such as Dropbox, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and more.,
Cloud storage can be used to save everything from email and pictures to multiple company files and customer records. Your information isn't up in a billowy cloud, it is actually housed within a data center. All your cloud provider needs is one server connected to the Internet. Then, you can upload your files through that network.
Most cloud storage systems rely on hundreds of data servers. This is in the event of a server fail, hence redundancy is the critical component: this means that the same information is stored on several servers. Cloud storage providers cannot provide their clients with 100 percent satisfaction if they lost any of your data. Also, the information is stored on servers that use varying power sources. This ensures that the files remain intact even in the event of a power failure.
If there is a fire, hurricane or theft, you data is secure at another location other than your main work site. Several years ago, many companies faced huge losses when it came to data recovery during a natural disaster. Cloud storage is looking to eradicate this type of unfortunate situation.
Also, backing up files becomes a lot more cost efficient with cloud storage. Many providers offer budget-friendly subscription fees. Purchasing your own server can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Moreover, you no longer have to worry about maintenance costs or hiring additional staff just to manage your storage. All of that is handled through your cloud provider. Furthermore, you can access your data from any device with an Internet connection.
Despite all the benefits and convenience of using cloud storage services, there are still some risks you should be aware of.
- First of all, you need to trust that a third-party provider might be handling your information. In this case, you want to ensure that you work with a reputable service that has experience behind them, not just within the cloud storage niche, but also in your industry.
- Secondly, you need a good internet service to retrieve or view any files. While that seems like a non-issue into today's digital society, it can be frustrating if your internet service goes down or if you happen to be in an area with very slow speeds.
- Third, you can't predict if a service might close shop. In that event, you might lose all of your files. While this type of occurrence is rare, again, it can be avoided by sticking to a well-known provider with a large client base.
- Fourth, it can get costly if you have a lot of data to store or need increased capacity. Many providers offer very attractive starting rates, but that can quickly add up as you upload more and more data.
How to use cloud storage
Be cognizant of storage limits
This means you need to have an understanding of your budget and how much more it would cost if you exceed your limit. Multi-media files such as videos can have a large impact on how much storage you have left to use for documents and forms.
Encrypt your data
Even if your cloud storage service offers the latest in security features, you still want to encrypt your files before uploading them. Hackers are on the prowl for information such as social security numbers, IDs, credit card numbers and more. To keep your business from customer losses, use replication when it comes to security.
Only use secure devices to access your storage
It is relatively easy to steal information from a mobile device. You don't even have to be a genius to do so. It's is pretty scary with that in mind. So, take action to use only secure devices that are installed with the most recent security patches. You can never be too safe when it comes to protecting yourself from cyber criminals.
Cloud storage fits the demand for convenience, mobility and cost-efficiency when it comes to storing data. Just make the move intelligently to keep your information safe from online threats.