Why store files in the cloud?

Individuals and companies alike, quite reasonably, have data storage concerns. There are myriad ways to store important files and documents including external hard drives, flash drives and online companies that rent server space. While all available options have their advantages and disadvantages, one excellent way to keep your items safe and secure is by using the cloud.

The cloud has become a popular option for both consumers and the public. You might use it yourself. But do you know what the cloud is?

For the uninitiated, the cloud is defined as servers that can be accessed online, along with the software and databases that run on those servers. Cloud servers are located literally all over the world. Thanks to cloud computing, users don’t have to have their own physical servers or run software applications on their own computers.

Because the cloud holds files, users can access them from any computer or device, creating a significant convenience for them. So let’s say a computer or device becomes outdated, obsolete or irreparably broken. The files in the cloud are safe, available and accessible. Enterprise customers benefit from the cloud as well, since they don’t have to assume costs related to buying and maintaining their own physical server.

We know the cloud is convenient, but is it safe?

Even though using the cloud places your data and important files in the care of others, cloud computing does offer levels of security. For one thing, cloud servers themselves are usually set up in warehouses where they can’t be tampered with or accessed by unauthorized personnel. Also, files that are stored on cloud servers are encrypted, making it difficult if not virtually impossible for cyber criminals and hackers to access.

Additional safeguards include firewalls, which can either be hardware- or software-based, that are designed to filter out unwelcome traffic and keep out unwanted visitors. Also, cloud servers’ security tools are updated on an ongoing basis. As new updates become available, companies that own servers and lease server space are generally diligent about keeping security measures as current as possible.

One other level of security practiced by many if not most cloud companies is data backup, often to multiple other servers. Because cloud servers are computers, they can develop technical issues, so having several backup copies of your files ensures that you will always have access to them and nothing will be lost.

We’re now also seeing artificial intelligence, or AI, being used as yet another protective measure.

Cloud computing creates convenience, provides protection and helps contain costs. Lots of companies now offer the service, so whether you’re an individual, a small business owner or the head of IT at a major corporation, you should be able to find a provider that offers exactly what you need. Explore the marketplace and become informed. Even if you’re using hardware now to store files, it might be a practical idea to consider the cloud as well.