Hey, You, Get Off of My Cloud!

Cloud

Have you ever really thought about Cloud storage? If you are like most people, the very idea of storing something out there somewhere in cyberspace is unsettling at best. In theory, it is a nice thought, as you dream about storing all of your information digitally and knowing that it will remain safe forever. After all, you would no longer have to worry about storing anything on servers or backing up information again and again. It also means you would no longer be designating valuable office space to store a bunch of documents the old fashioned way. Through the Cloud, you could store everything easily with a single click of a button or even without clicking. However, whether or not that remains completely secure is another question altogether.

When it comes to Cloud storage, there are a lot of different options that are available to you. For the most part, your options include the particular system that is being used to store the information, as well as, the level of security that comes with it. Most of the time, security exists in the form of several layers of encryption. Some companies use system that have just a single layer of encryption and others use multiple layers that are password protected. To make things even more secure, these companies usually make sure the passwords change almost constantly. However, there is no guarantee that the information that is stored in the Cloud will not fall into the wrong hands at some point.

The advantages of Cloud storage are also numerous. In truth, a lot of companies choose to store information in this way because they simply do not have the physical space to store hard copies of all of their important documents. Even when information is stored and backed up on a server, the old fashioned way of doing things make sure that you would have to have several disks that were stored at your site in order to retrieve the information. Storing it on the Cloud means that it is completely digital and stored in cyberspace without any hard copy in any form whatsoever. This is a fast and easy way to store information and it takes up absolutely no room on your part. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that someone else manages the information once it is stored in the Cloud. Essentially, it is no longer your problem until you want to retrieve the information yourself.

Of course, there are also disadvantages to everything and this is no exception. The biggest concern that centers around Cloud storage is the possibility that the information could potentially fall into the wrong hands – *think Sony*. People are hacking into systems on a daily basis and if they happen to hack into the system that you use to store information, there is a chance that everything that you have stored could end up in the hands of someone besides the people who need to see it. This can have a number of repercussions, not the least of which is the loss of trust of your clients.

In short, Cloud storage has become so popular that everyone wants to use it and it is quickly becoming something of a game where more and more people are jockeying for position. If you want your own dedicated Cloud storage system where no one else can have access to it, expect to shell out some big bucks. Otherwise, you can expect to share a system with thousands or even tens of thousands of other individuals and take your chances about the level of security that is provided with such a system.

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