Mirroring Your Cloud Storage – Keeping Data Safe

The business world ought now to be familiar with the words cloud computing. Dubbed by business magazine Forbes as being as significant to this century as electricity was to the last, it has transformed business models. But to the uninitiated or the uninformed, the impact of cloud computing goes well beyond a corporate level. And from government operations to our shopping habits, the fingers of cloud computing and cloud storage now reach well into every part of our lives.

Take the weekly grocery shopping. If you choose to store your shopping list regulars online, then it’s going into the cloud. And what about those holiday snaps you uploaded onto whichever social networking site you use? All of these things and much more involve using cloud technology.

Cloud Storage – what can go wrong?

In 2008 the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) was formed following the rise of cloud computing. Since its foundation, it has worked to educate people on cloud computing and its security practices. Over the years CSA experts have researched this specific topic highlighting threats which it identifies as being critical to cloud security. And in 2013 it published The Notorious Nine Cloud Computing Top Threats report. It cited the following as posing the biggest threats to cloud security:

  • Data Breaches
  • Data Loss
  • Account Hijacking
  • Insecure APIs
  • Denial of Service
  • Malicious Insiders
  • Abuse of Cloud Services
  • Insufficient Due Diligence
  • Shared Technology Issues

This list isn’t new. However the order of these threats has changed over the years. And interestingly, in 2010 data breaches were ranked as the fifth biggest threat but now, just three years on, these take the top spot.

Cloud Storage – why care?

But although cloud computing is changing our lives, what happens when things go wrong? Because security breaches happen, and for brands and companies the results can be devastating. The Guardian recently highlighted on the financial impact to brands of data breaches. It reports that according to the Ponemon Institute, these can result in a reduction of a brand’s reputation and value of up to £330 million. And aside from the impact on brands, legislation and technological regulations are also playing catch up.

Cloud Storage – how to keep data safe?

Key to Data Safety

Organisations such as the CSA are trying to keep people informed on cloud security. But it is also up to individual users to educate themselves on potential issues to help avoid potential threats. Without this users are sleepwalking into problems, which are dangerous for individuals but can be destructive to companies.

Good security is the lifeblood of IT. And companies using cloud technology ought to have a clearly defined security structure. Consider your business and the technology used in it and then put together a plan. Then be sure staff are familiar with this structure. Some cloud computing experts report that a significant rise in keeping data safe comes from removing human interaction where possible. Instead, automated security processes are recommended.

Back up images to cloud storage, and use different vendors. Memset’s CloudClone allows users to copy data from one cloud storage provider to another. This means that if your business finds itself in a legal dispute with the cloud vendor, company information is still accessible and the company can still run as normal.

Cloud computing heralds a new stage in technology. It combines speed and affordability and gives a technological reach to companies who previously couldn’t expand to these levels. However, some would argue that the world has not been prepared for these developments. And as the technology races forward, gaps and cracks have emerged in areas around legal and security, particularly when it comes to data safety. So stay on top of the issues, back up and copy your data and keep it secure.

Ben Jones is a technology writer that is particularly interested in “the cloud” and web hosting. Follow him on Twitter or Google Plus

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Digital Poet at BurnWorld Inc.

I am the Team Leader here at BurnWorld. I am an audio/video enthusiast and have been in this industry for over 10 years. I love testing DVD/Blu-Ray and Video software.

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