The Benefits and Risks of Using the Cloud

August 6, 2019 at 11:46 pm by Paul Falcone

As technology has advanced, the way we communicate and interact with people globally has become nearly instantaneous. To accommodate this improvement in communication, the way we share data with each other has also seen an increase in speed and efficiency. One technological advancement that allows for this speed and efficiency is the cloud, a way to store and share data instantly across authorized devices. The cloud does not come without its share of risks however, and in some ways, it is a double edged sword.

data-security

Benefits:

The first major benefit of the cloud is its convenience, and the speed in which data can be shared across any number of authorized devices. This allows for quick, easy, and efficient transfer of data, and can be used for real time editing of work that can be seen instantly.

In the event that a device fails, the cloud prevents any harm coming to the files. Because it saves the files on its own, there is no risk of losing any files should damage befall the device working on them.

Because the cloud can be accessed by any authorized device, it enables people to be able to work anywhere. This is a huge boon because it not only allows workers to work from home if they need to, but it also makes collaboration with off-site locations significantly easier. Combined with online voice chats like Skype, this allows a business to save in travel costs, enabling people to work easily from all corners of the globe.

The cloud also has a strictly monetary value to it. By not having a server for data on-site, a lot of money is being saved. In the case that a business is worried about data being leaked, this extra money could be used on additional screening to try to further protect against it.

Risks:

While there are a lot of positives to the greater connection, speed, and workflow that the cloud can provide, it wouldn’t be fair to say that it’s not without its own concerns. The cloud, which is just large data centers, generates a security problem in the form of end-of-life for devices. Because the cloud shares files with any authorized devices, a device that is not destroyed properly can lead to files being stolen from the failed drive. This problem can be solved most effectively by having on-site device destruction and making sure that all failed drives are destroyed before leaving the site.

data-destruction-system

The cloud is convenient, but it opens the way to leaks. Because it grants access so broadly, it is much easier for someone to leak data out without getting caught. Furthermore, since the cloud is an off-site server, there is a chance that the service provider could give data access to the wrong person, causing a data breach.

Because the cloud has so much data stored on it across companies, it is a very promising target for cybercriminals. While the security measures employed are getting better and better, cybercriminals get creative, and your data could be at risk.

There’s also the concern of having all of your data on the cloud. Since the data is stored in a remote location away from where you work, if that data center goes down, you could lose temporary, or permanent, access to the files and information that it was housing.

Not being in charge of your own data is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you save money and don’t have to focus on your server security, but on the other hand, you are trusting all your data in someone else’s hands. This can be a problem if the off-site server you are using has been negligent in security, and it could lead to a data breach.

But with the right extra precautions, it becomes significantly safer. If a business decides to use the cloud, they must invest in extra screening to fight insider data leaks, and they must also invest in on site end-of-life device destruction. Overall, the cloud raises a few important questions for businesses to ask themselves. Security is vital, and any business needs to weigh the risks and benefits the cloud generates.

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