It's your critical business data, secure It.
The most important part of a computer isn't the processor or RAM, it's the data.
Pictures, email, documents, records, files, passwords, it's all data. Keeping it safe is paramount in today's world.
For data security, it's hard to beat the cloud.
What Is The Cloud?
In simple terms, the cloud consists of computer servers maintained by an entity or company with an Internet connection in a secure location. With massive and multiple hard drives, they store and provide access to data.
For anyone with an Internet connection (via home Internet or cellular service), there is access to that data. For example, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Most people don't like keeping their own "things" in someone else's location. Data is no different. Who wants someone else holding their data? But there are advantages to using a cloud server for data, especially essential data.
Professional Management of Your Data
For those not in the field of IT, it's doubtful that we employ best practices for data safekeeping. Most of the data on our computers is stored in files without encryption and in directories easily located. Access to our computers is access to just about everything about us, including bank accounts, online accounts, friends, and relatives. It makes sense to put precious data in the hands of companies dedicated explicitly to securing it.
Constant, Secure Backup Off Premises
Most people don't think about data backup, but that doesn't make it any less important. Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods do happen, and after a disaster has occurred is the wrong time to think about disaster recovery of your valuable data.
Cloud-stored data is not just "out there;" it's securely stored and backed up consistently.
Redundancy Means Reliability
Cloud storage is more than a single server. Most individuals, and even small businesses, store data in one location. Not the cloud.
A cloud service using best practices stores redundant data in at least two locations so that even if one location is inaccessible for some reason, your data is still safe.
Failure is Not an Option -- It's Inevitable
According to a 2013 article showing some extensive testing, 1 in 5 hard drives will fail within three years, and 1 out of 2 will fail within five years.
Randomly, there is a 1 in 8 chance that your hard drive will fail. That means anything you store locally is more likely to be lost within five years than not. Again, after the disaster occurs is no time to start worrying about data backup.
Spyware, Viruses, and Ransomware, Oh My!
For large companies (like Equifax, Target, Home Depot, etc.), hacking is the primary threat to data. For the rest of us, malware is our most significant threat, and especially ransomware as it threatens to lock or delete our data.
There are many methods for preventing ransomware, but the only failsafe way to preventing threats to your data is to have your data beyond threat.
A data backup, away from an infected computer, means that even if your computer gets infected, your data is safe and can be recovered. Threat neutralized.
Your Own DaVinci Code
During World War II the Nazis used the "Enigma machine" to send coded messages. Cloud data storage has its enigma machine for data, encryption.
Your connection to cloud data is only sent over secure connections using, in most cases, 128-bit or 256-bit encryption. How secure is that? A secure password using 128-bit, it would take more than 1 billion years to crack, even for a government agency. Next, to the PIN or weak password on a local computer, the difference in security is immeasurable.
Make it Rain! Or Maybe Just "Cloud"y
Moving data to the cloud is often a simple process, but it comes with a lot of considerations. Among those factors is choosing the provider. However, there are many more that you need to pay attention to as well.
What data do you want in the cloud? Files, folders, or maybe even an entire image of the computer (files and operating system) can be backed up. And consider space too.
Pictures, video, data, and audio files can reach gigabytes of data in a hurry. If there is a business at stake as well, all of those files need to be securely stored in the cloud. Disaster recovery for business, no matter the size, is no small matter.
Depending on what you send to the cloud, there may be a cost associated with it.
Free services are for personal use, not large companies. Often only offer limited space (under 20GB), which may hold your most essential files, but it certainly won't hold everything. The cost will increase the more you store and if you want several versions of it.
Don't sell yourself short to save a buck. Multiple backups (for file recovery) are worth it with a data center that specializes in cloud backup solutions..
To the Cloud...and Back
Don't forget your speed. Sending 300 gigabytes of data to the cloud, and retrieving it, can take a long time. Continual updates are also something to keep in mind.
Cloud backup needs a fast, reliable connection. You never know when you're going to need what you have or are sending to the cloud, so eliminating risk must be part of your consideration.
It's About the Security of Your Data
If your data is important at all, it needs to be secure.
Computer theft, computer failures, malware, natural disasters, and other problems make local data storage a risky business.
The cloud is, by far, the more reliable and secure data storage location for what matters to you most, your data.