Is Your Data Safe & Secure In The Cloud?

With stories still floating around about hackers taking down the Playstation network, Amazon having a widespread failure of its cloud taking down hundreds of high profile website and Google Docs blacking out, taking down the Google Docs applications and all the users documents with it, many people are starting to ask themselves if their data is secure in the cloud and if it is really the way forward or if we should go back to storing all our data ourselves.

Security

While cloud computing is overall secure, you are ultimately putting the security of your data in the hands of the cloud computing service that you decide to use. The biggest question is do you trust them to keep your data safe? If not, maybe you should be looking at a different company to look after your data.

Could a hacker obtain your data from the cloud? Possibly, but extremely unlikely. The companies offering cloud computing services have many measures in place to avoid this type of problem, including data encryption and layers and layers of security. The question is though, could a hacker obtain data from your physical server in your office? In all likelihood, yes. Your server is likely to be less secure than any server being used by a cloud computing service.

Backups

What happens if the data center storing your data goes up in flames? Most cloud computing services will have a vigorous backup routine in place, with many services providing a real time backup which means that if the server suddenly burst into flames, you wouldn’t lose a single piece of data! Even with a reputable service though, it is always advisable to take regular backups of your data for your own reference.

Connectivity

When you are accessing data from a server in your building and you lose connection, it simple, get the IT guy on it. Within a few minutes you will normally be back up and running without any issues. The biggest problem that faces cloud computing is definitely connectivity. There are so many points of failure between your computer and the service that you are using.

For example, if your internet connection goes down, you are instantly cut off from your data. How long will the internet connection be down for? A few minutes? Hours? Days? Can you afford to be without all of your data for that long? As broadband quality and speeds improve across the country though, this will become less and less of an issue.

The author is keen to promote green IT and energy efficiency, covering areas from cloud computing down through to computer repairs and even WEEE recycling to ensure that our landfills aren’t fill ed with old technology.

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