Cloud computing is one of those terms that everyone’s heard of, most people act like they know what it means and only a small portion can actually define it. Regardless of who knows the actual definition, people are drawn to this term and want to be involved with it.
What is cloud computing?
In simple terms, cloud computing is a method of storing files and data in a centralized network that can be reached from anywhere and by any type of device. This includes mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. The notion of the “cloud” is because this data is placed in a network where say someone in NYC could access as well as someone in California.
Don’t think you already use the cloud? Think again. If you have an email account or use social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, you’re using a cloud platform. By storing data on servers being operated somewhere else, your data is available to be used anywhere there’s a network connection.
Is it safe?
While there are so many advantages from using the cloud to store your data, of course there’s the question of safety and security. Primarily, the method of cloud computing is an extremely safe way to store data. Most companies have a system in place with their own firewalls and anti-virus software to protect their data stored on the premises. The issue comes about when computing is outsourced, and the control over security is no longer in your hands.
The concern over server crashing is another topical issue, with the understanding that if something like this were to happen, all of your data could vanish into thin air and never return. The possibility of losing all of your data is something you rarely think about or even consider. We have become so reliant on technology to provide us with safety, security and consistency that if something drastic were to happen, not many people have a plan in place.
It’s important to know that within data centers of cloud providers, it’s very common to store data from multiple companies on one server or processor. Sure, this method could be economically sound and helpful to the environment, but it poses a risk for data leakage and creates the ideal scenario for a hacker. Cloud security like Azure Security Certification helps engineers implement security controls and threat protection, manage identity, etc.
Is using the cloud worth the risk?
So the big question is should you unplug from the cloud and avoid this technology for good in order to keep your data safe? The answer is definitely not. Practically every business in the world can benefit from using the cloud. While cloud computing is still growing and the technology is constantly changing, one thing is for certain – it’s here to stay.
In order to keep your data safe, it’s important to follow a few steps to protect your personal and professional data while using the cloud. Prepare for the unexpected by backing up data in both the cloud and on hardware, in case one of the two fails. Remember that it’s important to change your passwords on a regular basis and don’t reuse old ones. Changing your passwords regularly will eliminate the threat of hackers getting into your system. Finally, make sure to always utilize the latest verification procedures for email and social media. Keep in mind that by following these tips you’re not home free from cyber crime, but you’re much better off than those who don’t.
[Recommended reading: Top Five Benefits of Cloud Computing (For Entrepreneurs)]