There was a time when storing data in “the cloud” seemed nebulous, cutting edge, and futuristic. These days, cloud computing is practically a necessity to run a successful business; in fact, the cloud computing market is poised to be worth $800 billion dollars in just a few years.
Countless businesses are storing their important data on cloud servers… but is that really the safest way to store their information? Today, let’s talk about cloud computing and cyber security — including how you can help keep your company’s info safe and sound.
What is Cloud Computing?
If you’ve ever used Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or even your personal email account, you’ve used the cloud. This term refers to any software or service that stores digital data without using your personal computer or other devices. Cloud computing stores your files, images, videos, etc. through the internet, which means you can access them from any internet-connected device.
Reasons to use the cloud
Public cloud services first launched in the mid-2000s, and in the years since they have taken off like wildfire. Of course, that’s hardly a surprise, as cloud computing comes with many perks that can benefit casual computer users and small businesses alike. Some of these benefits include:
Running a business means generating a lot of data. You have to store all that information somewhere, and typically your two options are in the cloud or on-site. For most businesses, cloud computing is the obvious choice for one reason: it costs much less.
With cloud computing, you don’t need to purchase a server to house all your data. This means that you don’t have to spend extra money investing in, setting up, and maintaining these servers! With the cloud, you simply need to pay to use the service, which frees up plenty of room in your budget.
Increased Storage Capacity
When you use servers to store your data on-site, you have to plan ahead — or risk having too little storage space. But when you store info in the cloud server, your storage capacity is practically unlimited! This gives you the freedom to store as much data as necessary.
Cloud computing also operates on a “pay for what you need” basis, which helps avoid needless spending. Businesses can buy the storage space that meets their needs and their budget and scale up or down as needed over time.
You might have heard from a cloud-skeptic in your life that this system isn’t safe. After all, how do you know that your data is protected when you’re not the one protecting it? Don’t worry: cloud computing is designed by organizations whose entire job is to ensure safe file-sharing.
Research shows that 94% of businesses see an improvement in security when they switch to the cloud, so you can be confident that your data is safe. And as remote work increases the distance between us and our colleagues, safe and fast file-sharing (like the cloud provides) is going to be more important than ever.
Free Up IT Staff
Your IT staff are very important to your business. They keep you up and running (sometimes literally)! The last thing you want to do is tie up your IT department with boring and time-consuming maintenance on your storage servers — and with the cloud, you don’t have to.
The cloud isn’t managed by your company. It’s managed by Google Cloud, AWS, Oracle, etc. These companies take care of maintenance, updates, and anything else that might affect your cloud service, leaving your IT professionals available to help you and your staff with other important tasks.
How To Know Your Files are Secure
As you can see, cloud computing can be a huge benefit to most businesses. However, it is important to remember that cloud services are still at risk of human error. Cyberattacks, glitches, or other issues could leave your data vulnerable, so it’s wise to take extra steps to protect your data.
When we talk about data stored in “the cloud,” the idea that comes to mind is information floating above us, without any concrete location, waiting for us to pluck it out of the sky. However, that simply isn’t the case — anything stored in the cloud is really on a server in the cloud provider’s warehouse.
If you want to be certain that your files are secure, it’s important to look for a cloud service provider who is transparent about their server security. How do they protect their warehouse? How often are they updating or testing that security? Work with providers who take your data security as seriously as you do.
Another way to guarantee your files are safe is to encrypt them. This requires people to use a digital key before they can access your data, which can help keep the wrong people from viewing the information. You can store your data with a cloud provider that automatically encrypts your files, or you can encrypt them yourself before uploading them to the cloud.
Losing data can be detrimental to your business — whether the data is hacked and stolen or simply gone missing. To avoid this problem and keep your files safe, store everything in three separate places: two copies go on different storage media (for example, two on-site computers), and one copy goes into the cloud.
Cloud computing is already a critical part of many companies’ daily operations. But the tech world is constantly changing, and the rate of progress is constantly moving faster. These days, it’s not just vital to USE the cloud. It’s vital to stay up-to-date on the cloud.
Cloud computing education (or continuing education) can help you stay ahead of your competitors in the tech market. You’ll understand the intricacies of cloud computing, which allows you to ensure your data get top-quality protection — a must for any organization.
Check out Legends of Tech today to learn how their cloud computing courses can give you or your business a competitive edge.