Key to the Cloud

Alisha Shinde
Monday, 27 May 2019

With small to medium-sized businesses, as well as larger enterprises, schools and individuals requiring more and more space to manage their data, ‘the cloud’ has become a major buzzword. At the same time, data security has become a concern. 

Data stored in the cloud is nearly always stored in an encrypted form that would need to be cracked before an intruder could read the information, but there are also relatively simple ways in which users can boost their data’s security. Rohan Botre, a product analyst tells us how. 

With small to medium-sized businesses, as well as larger enterprises, schools and individuals requiring more and more space to manage their data, ‘the cloud’ has become a major buzzword. At the same time, data security has become a concern. 

Data stored in the cloud is nearly always stored in an encrypted form that would need to be cracked before an intruder could read the information, but there are also relatively simple ways in which users can boost their data’s security. Rohan Botre, a product analyst tells us how. 

Botre explains that Cloud Storage is basically a data storage that is made available as a service via a network. “To further explain it, Cloud storage involves stashing data on hardware in a remote physical location, which can be accessed from any device via the internet,” he simplifies it. Though cloud storage is convenient, the adoption rate for the same is low. Botre says that’s because the cloud may promise to lift the burden of our ever-increasing data storage needs, but how do we know our data is truly safe when we entrust it to a cloud provider? 
So what measures do we take to address our two biggest concerns: security and reliability?

Cloud storage optimisation

Botre suggests the following to determine your optimal cloud storage 
- Segregated repeatable architecture/design patterns and types of processing that might need a different handling of storage type.
- Understand the key criteria for processing, data access and performance of the application from the client like availability, durability and scalability. 
- Rationalise the criteria and come up with a recommendation of storage type by the patterns.
- Design for federated data access as you will most likely end up accessing data across platforms that are on-premise and in the cloud for certain capabilities. 

Making your cloud data secure
While it is rather convenient to use cloud storage, there are a few things one must consider when it comes to data security. Botre says, one must avoid storing sensitive information in the Cloud. He also adds that it is extremely important to read the user agreement to find out how your Cloud service storage works. “Even though time-consuming, do it — you learn a lot from it,” he advises. He also points out that Cloud users need to be serious about passwords. “While choosing a Cloud service, also opt and use the passwords that are encrypted.”

Botre explains encryption, which means systems using a complex algorithm to encode information. “To decode the encrypted files, a user needs the encryption key and while it’s possible to crack encrypted information, most hackers don’t have access to the amount of computer processing power they would need to decrypt information,” he informs. 

Reliability is as important as security
Botre says that the other big concern, reliability, is just as important as security.  “An unstable Cloud storage system is a liability and no one wants to save data to a failure-prone system, nor do they want to trust a company that isn’t financially stable,” points out Botre. While most cloud storage systems try to address this concern through redundancy techniques, there’s still the possibility that an entire system could crash and leave clients with no way to access their saved data, he warns.

​ ​

Related News