Cloud storage originally was reported as one of the greatest innovations of the computer age and great excitement ensued. Eventually, this enthusiasm simmered down and a few high profile cases of security breaches within “the cloud” for major corporations had many people thinking about whether or not the cloud was a safe option. The fears appeared to be calmed, for the most part, but recent comments by Steve “Woz” Wozniack, the co-founder of Apple, has brought up new questions about the security and safety of moving data onto the cloud.
So, what is the biggest concern most people have?
Well, “Woz”, summed it up best. The second you move your data off of a server and onto the cloud it appears gone forever. There is no way to ensure you will have that data tomorrow as you are relying entirely on a service provider to house, keep safe and protect it. The lack of “ownership” brings about a potential breach of security that we, as a computing world, have yet to see. The data being transferred into the cloud is valuable information to everyone from identity thieves to marketers. Frankly, the material being placed on the cloud, is a gold mine and people will stop at nothing to get it.
Terms of Service Agreements raise questions
The lengthy terms of service agreements electronically signed by individuals before the cloud can be accessed is another major concern that is proving hard to quell. Users essentially sign their information away the second they take up with a cloud. The user agreements and terms of services is a lengthy document, or series of documents, that strips the user of many of his or her rights and holds the cloud provider responsible for very little. This lack of protection is proving to be the most difficult to deal with as there is very little regulation surrounding the industry.
Consider utilizing multiple locations
While the concerns are very real there are ways to use the cloud safely. Those who are looking to lighten their servers might be best served by transporting some, not all, but some data to the cloud. While the most sensitive data is best kept on a server the cloud can be used for less sensitive information. This option is the best of both worlds, in theory however, not everyone enjoys the notion of having data stored in multiple locations. Sensitive data can, in fact, be stored safely in the cloud.
Encrypting data provides securest option
If the goal is to move everything onto the cloud it has long been suggested that users encrypt their data before uploading it into the ether that is the cloud. Encrypting the data will make it difficult for any rouge hacker to make any sense of the information that exists there. This is one of the best possible safeguards that can be taken. Additionally it is suggested that passwords not associated with any other information are used for cloud providers. This helps safeguard accounts from being accessed by hackers who have received data from other accounts belong to the user.
While cloud storage is still in its infancy there are massive strides being made each day to better the process. Although not everyone is yet on board with the power that is the cloud there are ways to keep things safe and protected while companies iron out the final details. All it takes is a bit of time, common sense, and the extra step of encrypting data. Happy storing!
About the Author: Georgina Clatworthy is a freelance writer who regularly posts about technology, business and communications. She contributes this post on behalf of ScaleMatrix, a private cloud provider who pride themselves on offering a secure, flexible and reliable cloud hosting solution.