Cloud Computing is becoming more popular with every passing day. “The Cloud” is a metaphor for the Internet, so cloud computing simply means Internet-based computing. It’s an online alternative to storing, managing, and retrieving data that has traditionally been kept on a computer’s hard drive or a local server.
The benefits of moving to the cloud
Accessibility. Because you can access data stored on the cloud from all over the world, users can share and collaborate regardless of whether they’re traveling employees or outsourced staff.
Cost Efficiency. By migrating their data to the cloud, businesses no longer face the time-and money-consuming task of building and managing their own infrastructure. Instead of dealing with massive cost outlays on software and hardware, companies can shift that responsibility to their cloud provider, often for a fraction of the cost.
Flexibility. Another major benefit is flexibility. Cloud services can be purchased on demand under a pay-as-you-go format, so businesses are able to increase or decrease the level of services they require at any given time. This means that companies can scale quickly without having to make massive infrastructure investments.
Recovery. Organizations using cloud-based computing no longer need to rely on their own elaborate and costly disaster-recovery plans. Studies show that companies who use cloud service providers are able to recover from issues almost four times faster than those who don’t.
Maintenance. A UK study revealed that businesses spend 18 out of 30 days on average just managing on-site security issues. Cloud service providers take care of server maintenance, software updates, and security monitoring for you.
Security measures to keep data safe
Two-step password verification. Research has shown that up to 90 percent of user-created passwords are vulnerable to hacking. Most cloud storage services offer two-step verification, the second step being an email or text, so in the event that a hacker is able to decipher your password, they won’t be able to do anything without the second step. Though some users may find the process a bit tedious, the extra few seconds it takes to punch in a code is well worth the peace of mind.
Encrypted files. Encryption is another key element of cloud protection, especially for the most sensitive data. Good encryption software adds another strong layer of protection to your data before sending it to the cloud. Those who require an even stronger shield can opt for a cloud service provider that offers encryption in addition to storage.
Regularly delete old data. Businesses should consider deleting data that no longer serves a purpose. Given today’s abundance of low-cost storage, vigorous deletion may not seem like a priority. But the longer the (digital) paper trail, the greater the odds of sensitive information being accessed.
Install anti-virus software. You should have this software already installed on your computers. If you haven’t, definitely do so before reverting to cloud storage. Anti-virus and anti-malware software prevents malicious software programs like key loggers and Trojans from hacking your system.