With advances in technology and data storing for businesses, many enterprise organisations are turning to cloud storage as the most viable option. As more enterprise organisations make the decision to spend less on hardware than ever before, questions about the efficacy of cloud storage and its role are raised.
Cloud Storage 101
Unlike more traditional methods of storing data—which requires companies to purchase and maintain expensive pieces of hardware—‘cloud storage’ allows for digital data to be stored in logical pools. The physical storage for these logical pools and cloud data spans multiple servers. As such, data is stored, maintained, and backed up via an internet connection, sans hardware. What’s more, the data is simultaneously available to an infinite number of users in a vast variety of locations.
Amongst enterprise organisations, cloud storage is becoming increasingly popular and critical. In fact, this year alone, it’s estimated that businesses with more than 1,000 employees will increase their cloud spending by 52 percent. Cloud storage is cost-effective, and also increases availability; again, all data can be accesses remotely by anyone who has been given access.
What’s more, cloud storage also provides data backup and protection, disaster recovery abilities, is reliable, and eliminates the need for physical storage space or hardware maintenance. However, cloud storage is not without its own set of concerns; privacy and security—specifically fear of data breaches—have made many critical of cloud storage.
Cloud Storage Privacy & Security Issues
Perhaps the most pressing concern for enterprise organizations in regards to cloud storage is a fear of data hacks. For example, Imperva, a security analysis firm, recently uncovered a man-in-the-cloud (MITC) attack vector. An MITC attack can hijack cloud synchronization accounts, which can in turn compromise data and user accessibility. Because sensitive information is often stored in the cloud, the chance of a data breach occurring is extremely troublesome for many enterprises. In addition to security, latency and performance questions about cloud capabilities are also troubling. With proper practices, though, cloud storage still remains the most effective data storage option.
Tips For Ensuring Data Protection
While there may be concerns about data protection in the cloud, experts in cloud computing and storage say that there are steps enterprise organisations can take to improve security. For example, the following tips should be employed:
- Use of a cloud access security broker (CASB);
- Investment in monitoring – utilise data activity monitoring (DAM) and file activity monitoring (FAM) controls;
- Consideration of hybrid storage management; and
- Investment in a managed service provider (MSP).
Furthermore, those who have access to the cloud should also be briefed on tips for keeping access secure, ranging from creating complex and continuously updated passwords to encrypting cloud data. While enterprise cloud storage may not be without fault, it is by and large the most valid method of storing sensitive data for enterprises today.