How safe is the cloud
As people turn to cloud computing for the storage of their data the question “How safe is the cloud” is being asked more and more frequently.
Cloud in the simplest terms is data accessed via the internet! Rather than your files being stored on your computer’s hard drive, server or other local devices, data is uploaded via the internet so you can access it from anywhere at any time as long as you have an internet connection.
So how safe is your data?
The first thing to understand is that your data is not just magically stored in the “Cloud” (internet) it is stored on a server in a data centre somewhere in the world.
Most of the data centers will shout about the high levels of encryption, vast amounts of money invested in security that most businesses could never dream to afford and multiple copies of your data is hosted in other parts of the world as a redundancy policy in the event of disaster.
Sounds great right?
The main thing people forget to ask themselves is “where exactly is my data” and can my data be compromised?
The first danger people face is data can be captured or compromised as you upload. So before your data even reaches its destination there can be problems.
Secondly what would happen if the company who hosts you data were to go bust! In difficult financial times and many businesses folding every day data companies could be switched off over night.
Another thing to consider is different countries face different laws with regards to data and without knowing exactly where your data is being kept it’s impossible to know just how safe your data is.
As featured in the BBC news this morning. Just ask the millions of users who uploaded personal files to Megaupload. The Founder of Megaupload Kim Dotcom has revealed a huge amount of data has been deleted by the European hosting company his company used. Megaupload hit the news last year as people had been abusing the service to share movies and music illegally.
Although the case is still on going the Dutch firm believe they had every right to reprovision the servers following a raid by US authorities.
Your data is always highly vulnerable to search and seizure by government and other authorities. There is no way to control how people will use or abuse any service and should this come into disrepute you may lose everything.
So – How safe is the cloud?
Storing your data in the cloud can be a useful addition to data storage especially when you would like to access this data from multiple locations. But should this be used as the primary back up for your data consider the following!
The fact is! even with all the money data centers invest in security it only takes a second and all your data could be lost forever. Imagine you were on the bus or tube with your bag and personal belongings i.e. credit cards & I.D (this is your personal data) would you leave your bag at the front of the bus while you go and sit at the back? The closer your bag (personal data) is the less likely you are of losing it!