Gone are the days when your father would come home from the office with a huge stack of paperwork and file it in a bank box in the garage right along side the family photos and the lawn mower. Cloud storage has eliminated the need for print-outs of everything for your business.
As businesses accumulate more digital documents, cloud storage has become essential, but is it really safe? Recent headlines involving data security breaches have created some doubt. A detailed look at the industry by the BBC reveals that large players, such as Amazon's Web Services (AWS), have more than 1,800 security controls. Dropbox uses a process called sharding which breaks a file into separate chunks and then stores those pieces in different places to avoid losses. Box, meanwhile, encourages users to send a link to the file to others that allow them to preview the content without actually downloading the document or image.
Cloud storage is more secure than local storage. Whatever the method, those within the industry contend that their methods are much more secure than storing files locally. In fact, the majority of the biggest breaches over the past few years, such as Target, have come from internal databases and not cloud-based storage. In general, storing your company data in an offsite location with a cloud provider will be safer and more accessible than an in-office solution.
Money doesn’t grow on trees so do your homework. Many cloud providers nickel and dime you with migration fees, retrieval fees, additional back-up fees or even high usage fees. Be careful when you’re shopping for a cloud solution for your business. Look for these key features to find a secure cloud service for your business:
- File Versioning: Many cloud providers don’t offer additional versions of your file. Look for one that allows you to restore previous versions of your files if you need them.
- Automatic Synchronization: Keep your files updated regularly with automatic syncing. Just be sure you have the proper bandwidth requirements to load your files into your online storage.
- Flexible Storage Capacity: Check with your cloud provider to ensure you have options with various capacity offerings. Be sure you are only paying for what you are using.
- Quality Customer Service: There is nothing worse than losing a file and calling for support just to spend an hour explaining things. Call your cloud provider ahead of time and talk with them about support services.
Your company’s cloud security starts with strong passwords. With all of the technology utilized to protect cloud data, the New York Times reminds users that the password is still the weakest link in any security system. Strong passwords, changed regularly, coupled with the systems put in place by cloud storage companies can create an incredibly safe environment for your important files and photos.