Cloud Storage Basics

Compare Before You Share

“Store it in the cloud,” they said. “It’s fine,” they said. Well, nowadays, if you work online, data is saved there anyway. Learn some cloud storage basics and whether it is, in fact, fine.

Cloudy Storage Solution

Do you know how much data you have? Do you know how much is automatically saved “in the cloud” when you use different programs, like email and other online platforms? So, what does this all mean?

Many old-school computer users are used to saving files and other data on a disk. First it was floppy, then it was round, eventually it was the size of a piece of gum. Now you don’t even need a physical drive. Now you can save all of your data — files, music, movies, photos, etc. — in an online database known as the cloud. Depending on how much data you have, this may require a monthly fee, but some storage comes free to a point.

The cloud is an off-site data storage system you can access remotely, from anywhere there’s an internet connection and compatible device. It’s usually managed by a third party, whether it’s Google, Amazon, another large internet company, or a private network supplier.

Cloud Storage Basics

There are many words people have used to describe the cloud:

  • Accessible
  • Shareable
  • Convenient
  • Flexible
  • Scalable

Depending on the amount of data you’re storing, you may only need one data server or an entire warehouse full of them. When you save something, here’s the general journey it takes:

  1. You save a file.
  2. It travels to the data server via the Internet.
  3. The file is recorded to the server.
  4. When you want to retrieve it again, you search a web-based interface.
  5. The file is brought back up for downloading or editing directly through the connected program.

What you may not know, your data is most likely stored on multiple servers. This helps ensure the information is available even if one fails. There are also multiple companies vying to store your data for you. From well-known Internet providers to new tech start-ups, there’s no shortage of storage options. Some of these providers also offer cloud computing applications to process, edit, and share data. This not only makes storing and searching for your files easier, but now you can collaborate with others who may need to access the same information. With the rise of remote work, this is an important feature.

Certain industries take full advantage of cloud storage, especially if they have a lot of data to store. From electronic health records to sensitive government documents, this type of storage needs to be heavily regulated and secured to protect the information it stores.

Clouded Judgements

There are some concerns when it comes to storing data (especially private information) online. Since the cloud isn’t new, there are more and more safeguards being put in place, but there are also new ways systems are breached and data is lost. If you’ve been asked to change your password multiple times, add a phone number to complete authentication, or use your fingerprint to access pages, then you’ve experienced some of these safeguards already. Different systems utilize a combination of the following techniques to help keep your information safe:

  • Encryption. Information is encoded using a complex algorithm. An encryption key is needed to access the information.
  • Authentication. Your username, password, email, phone number, or other code is used to access the information.
  • Authorization. A list of users also has access to the stored data. Some users may have more access than others. This is usually programmed into the system and tracked by access code.

Cybersecurity is a growing field focused on exploring the many methods to keep information secure and cut off hackers before the information is compromised.

Customizable Cloud Storage Design

Since there are so many data storage options, finding the right one should be easy, no? It depends on many factors, including the amount of data being stored and how many people need access. Companies that are looking for the right storage solution have even more options, like customizing their service. For more information on cloud storage basics and finding the right solution for you and your company, contact Security Five.