What is Cloud Storage?
It’s 2021 and by now Cloud Storage has emerged as one of the most convenient and efficient methods to store data online. There are numerous storage service providers on the internet since the market is lucrative and a must for pre-existing tech companies with huge data storage facilities to generate a significant margin of revenue from the users. In this blog, check out the best of 5 benefits and risks of Cloud Storage.
In Cloud Storage, instead of saving the data on the local hard disk, users store the data at a remote location which can be accessed using internet service. There are a lot of companies offering Cloud Storage services for different ranges.
- Using cloud storage, users can store data at a remote location which can easily be accessed from anywhere using internet service.
- Most of the cloud service provides ease of usability through various accessible features like intuitive UI, multi-device support, etc.
- Provision of multiple availability zones and back-up of your data to these provides higher resilience in the event of data loss with the cloud storage.
- Cloud storage service providers include an additional layer of security by encrypting the data either in rest or in transit through various encryption algorithms.
- Cloud storage service is completely dependent on having an internet connection with enough bandwidth to upload and download files.
Benefits of Cloud Storage
1. Usability and accessibility of Cloud Storage
Almost all of the cloud services come with a simplistic user interface that provides features like “drag and drop.” Since the service mainly is made available on the internet, all it takes to access your data would just require you to have a working internet connection.
2. Cost of using Cloud Storage
Probably one of the huge reasons why most companies are moving their data to the cloud is to cut costs. Purchasing physical storage can be expensive and requires continual maintenance. Without the need for hardware, Cloud storage is an exceptionally cheap alternative as compared to typical external drives when it comes to per GB cost.
3. Recovery, and backups
In the event of a hard drive or external drive failure, you can still access your files on the Cloud since the files are hosted out of remote data facilities with superior failsafe technology in place. They also host the replicas of the original data on their different “availability zones” throughout the world to prevent data loss.
Cloud storage service providers encrypt the data either in rest or in transit through various encryption algorithms like AES-256, etc. This provides an additional layer of security to their services. It provides an immense customer value since a lot of people store their files on the Cloud. These measures ensure that there is no unauthorized access of your data by someone else.
5. Synchronization and Updating
If you’re working on a file which is being hosted on a Cloud storage platform, you can do edits and it would synchronize in the backend with the remote hosting servers. It would feel as if you are working on your own system but the system is remote and is almost failsafe proof. This makes it easier to work on a single document through various devices, without actually moving the data from one device to another.
Risks with Cloud Storage
1. Internet Connection
Cloud storage service is solely dependent on having an internet connection with enough bandwidth to upload and download files. If you happen to be on a slow network, you will have issues accessing your stored files. And if you don’t have internet, you won’t be able to access your files.
2. APIs and storage gateways
Some enterprises use Cloud storage APIs or storage gateways to facilitate migration of their data onto the cloud. Since these tools act as a middleman between the user and the storage provider, this comes off as a vulnerability.
While these APIs are used for workers to access and manage data on the cloud, an insecure API or gateway can be exploited to cause a lot of damage to your data. So, before using a storage API or gateway, it is recommended to check its reputability and its security features that it comes with.
3. Data leakage
A major requirement of any Cloud data storage service provider would be to make sure that no one except you or employees from your organization shouldn’t access your data. The cloud storage service providers must ensure that your data isn’t sent to anyone else without your authorization.
But unfortunately, data leakages happen which causes serious problems by exposing sensitive, private, and business-critical data to the public over the internet. Most of the time, it is unavoidable from the client-side and the service providers happen to be at fault here.
For example, if a database is kept on public cloud servers but is privately secured through various access permissions. If the permission turns from private to public during operation, it can cause data leaks from public users or organizations.
This causes extreme user privacy violations and financial losses. Sometimes, it might be due to unencrypted data being exposed to the user which caused the data leakage.
4. Shared servers
Cloud-based storage systems use servers to hold data. Users are allowed to use the cloud by utilizing these systems. Physically accessing these servers isn’t permissible by users. These service providers don’t build specific servers for each user as per their specifications.
Rather, different customers share these servers as per their needs. You might be putting your data at risk if other users are using your servers to upload potentially hazardous or illegal information.
5. Lack of Control
Relying on a third party to store data for you means that you are transferring a lot of responsibilities from your shoulders to the service providers. Also, you won’t have to manage your data and don’t have to bother with the maintenance of the underlying servers.
The reason being that the Cloud service provider does that for you. But on the flip side, if something like outages or security breach happens to the service provider, it will directly affect your data too. In such cases, the user has to rely on the provider to fix these issues.
Concluding, What is Cloud Storage?
After considering both pros and cons of cloud storage services, individuals and companies should transition to cloud storage. If yes, they should assess which product or service would be perfect for them.
A clear understanding of all of the risks associated with cloud storage before considering migrating to it. If you’re okay with the risks that come with it, cloud storage migration will provide you with an edge.
After all, a lot of businesses found an extreme level of success through the transition to cloud computing. Also, cloud storage provides a scaling factor with minimal cost to do so.
This is the main reason why the world is moving towards the cloud and you should too! You can also read up more about what is cloud computing from the basics itself if you want some more in-depth knowledge about the same.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing involves the provisioning of resources such as storage, compute, network, software or applications from a centralized location often owned by a service provider. Examples of such service providers are Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, etc.
Is Cloud a secure ecosystem?
Public Cloud Service Providers follow a multi-layered security protocol. This happens through security measures like firewalls, intrusion prevention and detection, user authentication, malware detection, ransomware protection, and advanced encryption techniques to fortify the security of the cloud infrastructure.
What are the basic types of cloud?
The basic types of cloud infrastructure include public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud. Public cloud provisions resources to its client through a third-party service provider. Private cloud comprises of resources exclusively set up for the use of a particular client only. A hybrid cloud is a combination of both public and private cloud in a use-case. And in case of multi cloud, it can be a combination of both public and private clouds from different cloud service providers to meet client’s need.
Is it smart to keep all of your data on Cloud Storage?
It is a fact that the data that you store with cloud storage providers will be more secure than the data stored on your local system/device. As hackers mostly target local devices for their relatively weaker security measures, it is smart to move all of your data to cloud storage, if possible.
How long does Cloud Storage last?
Cloud Storage is all about having your files accessible no matter what happens to your local devices. Most cloud storage service providers use magnetic tapes which can encrypt and store your files for almost 30 years without any degradation.