Thursday, 16 August 2012

Are Clouds safer anymore?

| Thursday, August 16, 2012 | |

Considering that even companies like Amazon and Apple are rethinking their security measures, for a layman internet seems to have become an entirely unsafe place. While you can do your best by encrypting files, keeping backups, changing passwords etc, the question that we are examining today is whether the latest form of storage – cloud storage – is as safe as it seems. On the outset it seems that cloud storage is definitely safer than other backups which you could create either on the hard drive, on email clients or anywhere else online or offline. For one thing, you can access the cloud from anywhere, which means even if you lose your primary source of data you needn’t be out of action while you dredge up the hard drive. For another – and this is more relevant – your data is stored in a cloud, over millions of bits and different computers – and is retrieved from different locations when you require it, which makes it very difficult for anyone to really steal it.

But this advantage could so easily be a problem too. Because your data is not consolidated on a single server, but is spread over hundreds of them, there is more transportation of data when you are attempting to retrieve it. In this case, there are many participants, which makes the security “weak” for if only a single participant is weak, the entire data can be disrupted. It can also be interpreted in a manner where because there are so many participants, there are more ways for problems to occur, and more opportunities for hackers etc to break into the data stream. You are always reliant on a network to bring your very important data to you, and if there is a chink in the armor somewhere you may lose your very online identity.

It is also important to consider what would happen to your information if the cloud you are dependent on goes out of business or disappears altogether one day. You are completely reliant on the cloud company to not only protect your data from cybercriminals but also to ensure that it remains private and is not shared with third party vendors etc.  Not all of us read the privacy statements that we so readily click on after all – and that may be an undoing when it comes to cloud storage. Even big companies have suffered with cloud. Foundation Management Associates lost a year’s financial data with Dropbox, and though Dropbox said information could be recovered, it still highlighted that cloud storage could have its own problems.

The bottom line then is this. Cloud storage is only as safe as its weakest weakness. Whether that is the dependency on networks, the reliance on a third company to hold all your information, the problems of new systems of cyber crime or the lack of interest on the customer when they are agreeing to terms and conditions, it differs from person to person. In order to be truly safe online, clouds should be used not as a primary source of storage but as backups of backups. 
Author's Bio: This guest post is brought to you by, a site that offers savings and current information on cable time nc. Visit here to learn more about savings on internet bills.
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