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Keeping Your Information Safe: Is the Cloud the Right Answer?

Pay attention to the advertisements that you undoubtedly see every time you go online, and you will start to think that cloud computing offers the solutions to countless problems that business owners encounter.

Recently there has been a big push to convince business owners that the cloud is the safest way for them to store information.Before you take recommendations from an ad, you should consider whether the cloud is really the right way to keep private information safe.

Benefits of the Cloud

There are several benefits to storing information on the cloud. You can access the information from anywhere, you can save a lot of money by avoiding high-priced computer services, and you can avoid the expense of hiring your own IT team for maintenance and troubleshooting. It is convenient and inexpensive. Those are two huge boons for businesses struggling to survive in a tough economy.

Plus, the cloud promises to keep your information safe, no matter what happens at your location. Even if your office burns to the ground, your data is still safe out there on the Internet. Given these advantages, how could anyone think that the cloud is a bad idea?

The Cloud’s Security Risks

Cloud computing is convenient and cheap, but it also presents several potential security risks that you should know about. When you hand private information over to another company, you always run the risk that an unauthorized employee will access the information for unlawful reasons. Whether you choose a large, corporate server farm, or a small “mom and pop” joint, several people will have easy access to information about your business, your clients and your employees.

Keeping information stored on location, however, means that you get to vet your own employees to determine which ones are trustworthy enough to have access to personal info. Yes, you will have to pay more, but you also gain more control over your information.

The recent shutdown of should also cause concern for anyone who has chosen to store information on the cloud. While cloud services promise to keep your data safe by storing away from your physical location, you also have to trust that the company will uphold their end of the deal. What happens if the company goes out of business or is shut down by a government agency? Will you lose all of the information that you have uploaded to the cloud? Currently, no one really knows how to solve these problems.

Cloud computing offers several data storage advantages, but there are also some risks. If you choose to store your information online, then make sure you research the service that you use to make sure the company has a solid security and business history.




Matt Thompson has written for numerous online and print publications. He has spent time as an editor for a media research company that supplies marketing materials to some of the country's most influential corporations.