WIRED Security (20 October 2016) is a new one-day event, which...
It is no wonder that the use of cloud storage is growing rapidly. More and more businesses
all over the world are adopting this digital way of storing data to take advantage of the
many benefits associated with cloud computing. These include greater flexibility, greater
scalability and increased productivity. Even the issue of data protection, often cited as
a weakness of the cloud, could actually be solved by the use of this modern form of
Although cloud storage has its roots in the 1980s, it is a relatively recent arrival to the world
of business. Despite this, cloud software is already offered by some of the most respected
companies in computing. For a look at the types of software and solutions available, go to
McLaren Software. The popularity of storing data in the cloud shows no sign of
slowing down – in fact, it is expected to continue apace in the future, according to this article.
The key factor that makes cloud computing so popular is that everything is stored in the
cloud, that is to say, everything is stored in virtual, online servers run by hosting companies.
This saves businesses money, time and effort. However, not everyone is convinced by cloud
computing and some feel that protection of their data could be an issue.
Fear of Flying
Because cloud computing takes place in a virtual location, it may seem to some people that
their data is somehow remote and unprotected. It is this same line of thinking that makes people
fear flying: because it seems unsafe, it is unsafe. It is a fear that is both irrational while at the
same time highly rational; after all, humans were not created to fly. The fact is, however, that
we are now perfectly capable of doing so; and today, flying is actually one of the safest
forms of transport around. Similarly, cloud computing is now one of the safest forms of
computing we have at our disposal.
Data protection in the cloud
Despite the fears about the safety of cloud computing, there are a number of ways in which
cloud storage can actually enhance data protection. Firstly, there is the fact that data is
stored on remote servers instead of on physical hardware, such as hard drives and USB
memory sticks. This hugely reduces the chance that the data could be lost, damaged or
stolen. Also important is that the servers are maintained by hosting companies, whose main
job is to keep these servers in optimal condition, a role in which they are likely to spend more
time and money than a normal business maintaining their own servers would.
The data stored on the cloud is backed up on a number of different servers, meaning that
in the unlikely event that one server does go down, the other servers will hold the fort. The
servers are all updated automatically so they receive the most up to date protection packages as
and when they become available.
Of course, although rare, the loss of data stored on the cloud does happen. In this instance,
the data leaves an identity trail on the internet making it easy to track. This helps to make
data retrieval from cloud storage fast, more reliable and cheaper than the equivalent process
in conventional computing.