The relationship between cloud hosting and data security has been anything but consistent. All of the rumors flying about how unsafe and insecure the cloud is, adds insult to injury. But they are called rumors for a reason because they aren’t necessarily true.
TechCrunch reports, “According to market intelligence firm iHS iSuppli, the market for paid and free cloud storage services continues to grow rapidly and the total number of Internet users who use paid and free cloud storage services … will likely reach 500 million and [last year it was projected that] 625 million Internet users [would] use these services.”
These numbers alone indicate that the cloud must be doing something right. Think of the cloud as a silent assassin – it’s persistence is relentless and when it comes to accomplishing business critical tasks day-in-day-out, mostly done behind-the-scenes, it goes unnoticed.
Here’s how cloud hosting makes its magic happen:
In December 2006, 94 million TJX Companies, Inc. credit cards were exposed. In March 2011 millions of customers names and e-mails stored in more than 108 retail stores plus several huge financial firms like CitiGroup Inc. were exposed. On April 20, 2011, 77 million PlayStation Network accounts were hacked; Sony is said to have lost millions while the site was down for a month. (Source: CSO Online)
In today’s frantic cyber world, laden with data theft and crime, it doesn’t hurt to have a plan B in cases of failures, emergencies, and temporary shutdowns. With a cloud based backup by your side, you won’t ever have to worry about permanent data loss. Combined with an equally potent recovery scheme, cloud backup ensures every inch of your critical internal and customer data has been cloned at a safe location waiting to enter the ‘scene’ when required. Best of all, you don’t need to schedule, or remember, backups. After all, preparing for a possible data massacre is better than sitting idle and patiently waiting.
Cloud storage works on the premise of being universally available (i.e. customers and employees can have access to company data). This is where encryption enters the fray. The cloud enables you to grant exclusive access to data and make sure unauthorized access is stringently avoided. In the process, a healthy encryption regime is exercised. Data traveling to and fro from the cloud demands a certain level of sophistication when it comes to privacy and safety. Encryption is effectively carried out with the usage of public and private keys. As you procure keys from a secure application, access rests in your hand … ergo, you have total control.
Cloud hosting automatically comes with state-of-the-art anti-virus and bug elimination tools and applications which dynamically detect a wide array of viruses in your system. Infringements will inherently occur given the Internet’s nature and the propensity of millions of hackers (armed with self-forged bugs, viruses and other attacking tools) to lie in wait for your company to slip up. With the cloud, post detection, you are provided with the option to either repair files or delete them permanently.
As the name suggests, firewalls are incorporated within the cloud hosting structure to emulate the robustness and impenetrable nature of Spartans (i.e., a society that built one of the finest militaries of the ancient world). You can leave all external data threat worries at home and enjoy a hassle-free day at the office. Firewalls are dynamically created to serve multiple purposes — not only to create an external impenetrable wall, but also to monitor and identify potential internal threats as well. Moreover, potent firewalls are present at both the sender and receiver’s site, when it comes to client handling, which is merely icing on the cake.
Uncompromising Auditing and Review
No matter how potent your data storage system is, glitches are bound to appear. For such moments, a periodical audit system comes in handy. The predatory instincts of your cloud service provider’s IT team will leave no stone unturned when it comes to reviewing archives, monitoring existing data, regulating data flow, and daily auditing. This gives you the leverage to review the intricacies of your entire organization every now and again. So, all you need to do is sit back and relax!
Since data is stored universally, your cloud hosting provider can make sure all state and country-specific compliance and privacy standards are adhered to. Even though this task may seem too tedious at first, it is easily and comprehensively fulfilled with the cooperation of you and a dependable service provider. So, even if your files are stored halfway across the Atlantic, cloud safety lives up to its name.
Data Security Begins at ‘Home’
A very common mistake businesses make after selecting a cloud service provider is this: they believe their security role ends there. This type of thinking is the final nail in a data coffin. So, don’t fall for it!
After all it depends on you and your team to ensure you data is secure. Put your best foot forward by using complex passwords, demand a high security standard without fail, and maintain a healthy relationship with your service provider.
You can never be too safe when the lifeblood of your business is on the line, but partnering up with a reliable cloud hosting service is like hiring an exclusive data bodyguard with brains and brawn to diffuse data security issues that will inevitably come your way.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Renuka Rana, Editor at Ace Cloud Hosting, spends considerable part of her time in writing about technology including cloud computing and Smartphones. When not writing, she loves to dig deeper into knowing the best and the latest technology in industry. Connect with @renukarana and @ACECloudHosting on Twitter for the latest technology updates.