by May 1, 2012 0 comments

Sufyan bin Uzayr, Freelance Writer, Graphic Artist, Photographer,

Of late, cloud computing has taken the IT world by a storm. More and more businesses are migrating to the cloud instead of local storage. Not only is cloud-based storage cheaper and requires lesser maintenance, it also fosters greater collaboration and data sharing capabilities.

Both Google and Amazon are now offering attractive cloud services for businesses and organizations. The service is extremely reliable — your data is stored across multiple servers and can be seamlessly shared among all your employees and clients.

At this junction, with cloud computing on the rise, questions are being raised about security issues. For a start, any data stored on an intranet/internet, no matter how big or small, can be subject to malicious hackers. However, generally speaking, cloud based storage has often been under the attack of tech critics claiming it to be an insecure medium for storage of data. Thus, while more and more organizations are shifting to cloud-based storage for managing their data, there are talks about Google suffering outages (see thereby proving the inability of the cloud to be a reliable medium for business usage.

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Yes, Google and certain other cloud service providers have had their share of outages — however, this does not essentially make them less secure. Cloud outages are in no way more serious than traditional outages — the data remains secure, only the server goes offline temporarily.

On the contrary, owing to such risks and security issues, most cloud based service providers take security as an important factor. Apart from data redundancy, providers such as Amazon also offer data encryption for enhanced security.

However, this is where as the end user, your decision comes into play. Of course, if you are opting for the cloud, chances are you’re doing it to minimize the cost of local storage — in other words, it does not make sense to use local storage for backups of your cloud data. In such a scenario, before you opt for a cloud-based storage provider, look for the backup offerings — chances are, they will surely provide nightly backups, in which your data is backed up everyday. But a wiser choice will be to opt for incremental backup, wherein your data is backed up after each transaction. Obviously, incremental backup provides to-the-minute backup and is more reliable.

Truth be told, with both economic feasibility and data sharing to its merit, cloud computing hardly has an alternative — much like public transport and Railways, in spite of the hiccups, cloud computing is here to stay. In this case, usage of cloud computing cannot be discarded on account of security myths. Trusting a cloud based service provider to secure your data is much the same way as trusting a postal or courier company with your letters — we often place our important letters and parcels in their hands, don’t we? A mere isolated event or mishap with the courier service provider cannot essentially be generalized as the overall measure of service offered by that provider.

It goes without saying that the future of data storage is cloud storage. Most providers offer a secure product with encryption, redundancy and backups, and with cloud computing ever on the rise, the security measures adopted to keep the cloud secure will only develop in years to come.

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