Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Storage
Cloud Storage is a trending topic, and many people from computing and non-computing backgrounds are talking about it. What is it all about? How does it benefit users? Why should you use cloud storage rather than a physical data storage strategy?
Before we dig deeper into the never-ending topic of cloud storage, let’s understand what it is and how it works.
What Is Cloud Storage?
Cloud Storage eliminates the need to present in the office to work on a file that you need to present in tomorrow’s meeting. The data you move to the cloud from your computer’s physical hard drive acts as a backup, ensuring all-time availability.
Having your data in the cloud means you don’t have to worry about backing up your files or worrying about restoring data in the event of data loss. With cloud storage, you can restore and run faster during any hardware breakdowns than with physical servers at the office.
For all home-based users, storing data to a cloud drive means the flexibility to access data from anywhere, anytime, using any smart device. You have your files stored securely and accessible from anywhere via a reliable internet connection.
Moreover, no concerns surrounding hard drive failure exist as the cloud storage is fail-proof and highly available. So, if you regularly encounter problems where your external hard drive won’t show up mac or another computer, move data to the cloud for more security, availability, and scalability.
How Do the Cloud Benefit Users?
By now, you must have understood the definition of cloud storage and how it stores data. The question is how to get started with the cloud and reap the benefits of the wireless and invisible storage strategy. So, let’s first discuss how we use cloud storage.
If you are using Spotify to listen to your favorite songs or podcasts, working on Google Docs because you don’t want your data to get lost in the sauce, sending emails, or probably, streaming movies online via Netflix, you are already using cloud services.
Whether you use Spotify, Google Docs, Netflix, Dropbox, or any similar app, you are using the cloud.
On a broader level, the cloud is explained as anything that you can access using an internet connection. In simple terms, the cloud is a network of safe and secure servers, often in the same location and sometimes hosted over multiple locations.
The network providers join multiple servers together to give you an uninterrupted user experience. If we talk about cloud benefits in general, the foremost advantage is that you can access data from anywhere and anytime using any digital device.
You work on a file on your laptop and synchronize data to the cloud. Now you want to access the file from your iPad; you only need to install the client on the device and access your files using the internet connection.
Now, you can access the offline copy in locations where you do not have internet connectivity. Whatever edits you made to the content of the file whilst offline syncs automatically when you connect to the internet.
3 Ways to Secure Data in the Cloud
With the cloud becoming the market norm, the attention has diverted from whether it is ideal to use the cloud to how to make cloud storage secure. Learning a few tips will enable you to save data securely in the cloud to prevent unauthorized access.
Keep Backups of Network
Storing backups in the cloud or on the cloud media makes life easier. In case anything worse happens and you lose access to a local copy due to a virus that exceeds the cloud and then the backup, you may lose all the data stored offline as well as online.
Back up the network drive to ensure the availability of clean data that you can easily restore when needed. Daily backups are mandatory to ensure not even a single bit of data is lost and grant permissions to control access to the backup files.
Prevent Outside Threats
Your data is always vulnerable to outside threats, whether you store it online or offline. No matter how frequently you backup your data, having an antivirus is mandatory to keep things secure. Install an antivirus application and scan your computer regularly to prevent data loss.
Ensure to download applications and files from legitimate resources and avoid clicking links to safeguard your data, no matter what storage you utilize.
Use Strong Encryption
Encryption algorithms scramble data stored within files to make it unreadable. This is different from assigning passwords where you lock access to the data stored within the file. Encryption utilizes a special key to make the contents of the file difficult to understand so that no one can access the information without a valid decryption key.
You can use symmetrical or asymmetrical encryption to secure your data. The former uses the same key to lock and unlock data, while the latter uses a public key to lock access and a private key to decrypt data.