Cloud storage has transformed the way individuals and businesses manage and store their data, but is it right for you? From a cybersecurity perspective there are some things to consider as you are evaluating whether or not to use the cloud. Both cloud and external hardware frameworks have their benefits and drawbacks regarding price, security, management, scalability, and other factors. Here are some points to consider as you are weighing cloud computing against using a hardware infrastructure.
- First and foremost, ask yourself a few questions to define what your needs are:
- How many people are there in your organization who’d be using and storing data?
- What types of data are you working with—general information or sensitive items that should be kept private?
- What are your accessibility needs?
- What is your budget?
- Do you have specific compliance requirements?
Once you’ve answered these, it’s important to understand the difference between public and private cloud storage. In a public storage setting, the infrastructure is set up and shared by your service provider and it supports multiple users, not just your organization. Private clouds are shared by your service provider with your organization only. This does provide more privacy but does not eliminate all security threats.
Keeping this in mind, here are some pros and cons of using a cloud infrastructure:
When compared with hardware storage, the cloud makes it easy to back up your data.
Accessibility is another bonus. You can access your data from anywhere, without needing physical hard drives. This means if you’re traveling internationally (or even locally!), you don’t have to worry about remembering data storage devices.
Cloud storage is more affordable than local storage in that it never has to be replaced, and offers scalability, meaning you only pay for the amount of storage you use. With physical hardware and hard drives, ideally, you should update and replace them every few years.
Privacy and security. When you put your data in the cloud, you are giving your info to a third party, which can compromise your privacy and security.
You need good internet access. The cloud uses increased bandwith, so if you find your internet connection is slow, you may have trouble accessing your data.
Security, again. When you store your data in the cloud, it is more vulnerable to online attacks.
Business compliance. Within your business sector, you may be required to meet compliance standards, and this may mean that cloud storage is not an option for your organization.
Difficulty navigating data management structure. You may find the structure of storage management in the cloud is very different from what your organization is used to. This can potentially lead to you spending more time organizing your data. It also means potential technical issues, which can also require more of your time to resolve.
As with any online infrastructure, security is the greatest concern. At Carter Group, we realize that most organizations utilize cloud storage in some capacity, and we can help you to tighten the security around your data as much as possible. As a general rule, we recommend that you not store sensitive information (financial, legal, personal info, images, etc.) in the cloud without proper access restrictions in place. To learn more about this or other security practices, contact us using the form below.