26 Mar How Secure Is Online Storage?
Consumers and small businesses who are utilizing online storage and backup instead of, or in addition to, traditional on-premise storage solutions are experiencing for themselves the benefits of online storage: convenience, flexible and cost-effective pricing, easier sharing and collaboration, automatic backup option, and scalability of storage space.
But one nagging concern continues to remain foremost in mind: How secure really is data stored online?
While storing important data on to the cloud requires a huge amount of trust on the user’s part (individual or business entity), it’s also worth noting that online backup service providers — or at least the most trusted names in the industry — stake their reputation on their ability to provide secure storage services to their clients. Otherwise, why be in business at all?
Security technologies in use
To ensure that data is kept safe at all times, service providers employ encryption technology even before the files are transmitted and while these are in storage.
Even before the data leaves the user’s computer, these are already encrypted using 128-bit Blowfish encryption. Then the data is transmitted via SSL (Secure Socket Layer), a cryptographic protocol that establishes a secure web communication, and is therefore widely used in the transfer and exchange of confidential information over the Internet.
Now these are standard technologies which are also being utilized in online banking and e-commerce transactions, so basically, your data is being protected with bank-level security.
Security in data centers
While data remains encrypted (AES or Blowfish) while in storage, the security level doesn’t end there. Online storage providers also go to extra lengths to make sure that data centers are physically safe. Safety measures deployed in these centers may include:
- Restricted personnel access (need for electronic key cards, bioscans, and/or PIN codes);
- Use of Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS);
- Back-up generators available on-site in case of power outage;
- Security personnel on duty 24/7;
- Temperature monitoring and control to prevent disk failure;
Even with all these measures in place, there is of course no foolproof guarantee that data stored online in the cloud is completely safe. After all, no one and no provider is invulnerable to attack.
But compared to simply storing your files in an external drive attached to your computer, which makes it vulnerable to attacks, disaster, and computer failure, online storage is still the better, safer way to keep your data.