What are cloud storage and its purpose?
A company can either choose to keep their data, files in the company’s premises or choose to keep the company’s data, information, files, or software in an off-site location to a third-party cloud provider. In cloud storage, it is the responsibility of the provider to protect, host, secure manage, and maintain the files and data of their customers. This way, the company doesn’t need to have IT equipment or the infrastructure to support and secure the company’s data but will still have the advantage to access the company’s data whenever required.
Companies opt for cloud servers due to various advantages. Mostly because it is cost-effective. Company will be able to save money in various areas such as if a company wants to expand its capacity of storage then it will not need to buy big equipment to scale up, which would then require more maintenance, more complications where the company will need to upgrade its capacity by contacting the cloud service provider. Hard drives used in companies are only capable to provide a limited capacity to store data, media, and files. From the beginning, Storage Area Networks were built to archive data and files in organizations. Since one can only buy limited data, the user or the company will need to invest more in adding servers to their infrastructure leading to expenditure for the company.
This way, the company will only acquire according to the current requirement and will not make purchases in advancements to store equipment. The company will then also be required to store HVAC equipment to control the temperature in the data center.
Not to forget that the cloud service provider will be equipped with IT professionals who will be to take quick actions during a security breach. There will be continuous monetarization to provide security service to only to a single company but to several companies. Cloud service providers also would be extra cautious since the provider’s service is to provide security to several companies and a single breach could affect several companies. Along with security, the company can be assured that the company’s data are in back up and can be retrieved or accessed in case of an emergency.
Choosing a cloud-based server will also help the company to reduce its e-waste percentage. The company will also have more budget allocated for the resources that are required by the company to provide better services to their users or customers.
How are data stored on cloud storage?
Cloud storage servers are virtual servers that are software-defined which are made similar to physical servers. In a physical server, it is able to host multiple virtual servers which makes it easier to provide cloud-based storage solutions. Using virtual servers is more effective as physical servers operate below the limited level of capacity.
This way, it helps cloud-based service providers to allow their users or customers to change the capacity of storage area acquired by the company as and when required by the company which can be accessed with varying amounts of payments. When a capacity from a server reaches its limit, another server gets programmed to provide additional capacity.
Instead of using storage networks which are used in on-premise storage networks, servers are used in cloud storage which saves data. It is usually virtual machines that host a physical server and when there is a need to increase capacity for storage, the cloud-based storage provider creates a new virtual server for the user’s demand.
The data gets stored in the cloud server when a user connects to the cloud server with either a private connection, a web portal, website, or mobile app. Then the user gets connected to a server that sends your data to a pool of servers in one of the data centers. The user gets connected to different servers depending on the cloud provider’s operation.
Although, cloud-based storage providers usually keep the data stored in multiple machines to keep redundancy. It will help their customers to access data from cloud servers even if the initial server could not keep up with providing server during an outage for maintenance.
A company or any user can choose cloud services based on the type of cloud storage. There are three types of cloud storage available, which are private clouds, public clouds, and hybrid clouds.
In private cloud storage, there are replicas of the cloud model but it is exclusive within your network. It helps in leveraging a physical server which helps to create opportunities for virtual servers to increase capacity. The user will be able to take complete control of the on-premises private cloud or to connect with a cloud-based storage provider which will help to create a specific private cloud that is accessible with a private connection. This type of storage is preferred by those who want to have separate private cloud storage to keep the data within specific reach.
In public cloud storage, a user will be able to access the storage cloud by an internet connection and so can other companies. This service will be accessible to anybody who has an internet connection through their smartphone, computers, laptops, or just about any electronic device. It lets the user access to scale up or down according to their storage requirement.
In hybrid cloud storage, both features of public cloud storage and private cloud storage are combined. This allows the user to store their data in different types of cloud storage. It depends on the type of data and how much sensitive the data is. Usually, companies prefer hybrid cloud-based storage due to the versatile nature which allows the companies to use the cloud-based storage along with their internal storage.
How safe is it to store data in cloud storage?
Yes, it can be daunting to use a cloud-based server since the cloud-based server means to forward the data to a different location.
There are occasional breaches heard in the news but the cloud-based service providers always try to secure their servers with up-to-date security infrastructure.
Every company holds sensitive data whether the data includes their user’s personal information or trade secrets of the company. This is why a company should also give training to its employees to prevent any activities which can lead to data breaches and also make the employees aware of the ways through which data breaching occurs and make them able to sense any strange activities.
Different cloud-based storage providers have different services and every provider may or may not be able to provide you with the level of security you want to have but it is best to at least choose a provider who will provide your level of security protection. Make a checklist of your requirements before starting to select among the cloud storage providers in the market and be thorough with their services and policies.
Whether it is Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive have a history of falling prey to cyberattacks but they are also constantly improving.
Data stored in cloud storage are encrypted and if an unauthorized person tries to access the data, the cyber-attacker would need to crack the encryption but interestingly, the keys required to decrypt the data differ among cloud storage. The key could either be with the individual users or by the service.
Cloud-based storage providers use two-factor authentication and SSL encryption but vary with the type of AES encryption and can have some other benefits as well.
Secure Socket Layer – it creates a layer of security protocol links between networked computers.
Advanced Encryption Standard – is an open encryption standard and different standard of AES has a different level of protection.