By Ben Puzzuoli, Technical Sales Director at KineticD
December 13, 2012

KineticD Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Data Security – the “Achilles’ Heel” of Cloud Computing?

With more and more organizations, from the entertainment industry to government agencies, relying on virtualized, cloud-based infrastructures to deliver their products and services, it is obvious that cloud computing has truly become the vanguard of how we as human beings are storing, accessing and sharing information.  In fact, cloud services represent an entirely new shift in the IT industry as a whole, as they continue to deliver incredible IT innovations to both businesses and individuals alike.  And, in addition to all of this, cloud service providers are not only delivering exciting new levels of data flexibility to their users, but are also quite often offering scalable, pay-as-you-go pricing structures as well, which is further serving to fuel their escalating popularity.

However, the big question is, how can we be sure that cloud services are secure?  After all, as inconvenient as it is to have your data tethered to one particular physical location or device, at least you can be reasonably sure that it won’t get hijacked as long as you keep your eye on it and take the right precautions.  Since cloud computing involves accessing your data remotely over the vast, and often dangerous, stretches of the Internet, the issue of data security could obviously come into play.  For this reason, some people might still be wary of the cloud, considering the issue of security to be the “Achilles’ heel” of online data backup and cloud computing.  After all, there obviously exists the potential of great risk when allowing any outside agents to potentially access your data, right?

Well, while this might sometimes be the case, the fact of the matter is that the level of data security that is brought to any cloud solution can only be as effective as the tools are that are offered and leveraged by the cloud vendor that is responsible for the safety of your data in the first place.  Thankfully, modern day cloud vendors, whether they choose to use them or not, have a whole host of highly-effective cloud data security tools at their disposal that can make storing data in the cloud just as safe as storing it on any digital device that has access to the Internet.  In fact, due to the advanced nature of many of these data security tools, information stored in the cloud now actually has the potential to be more secure than data stored in more traditional, localized formats.

But, just what are these data security tools, and how can you know that the cloud vendor that is looking after your data will leverage these tools in order to keep your information from falling into the wrong hands?

Beyond all of the methods that cloud vendors can use to keep your data secure from malicious agents, the most fundamental is that of data encryption.  Quality cloud vendors encrypt their clients’ data at the source, before it even leaves the digital devices that are being backed up to the cloud, so that their clients’ data is sure to be protected at all times.  Of course, there are different levels of data encryption that can be employed, so be sure to have a decent understanding of the various types and levels of encryption so that you can be sure that you or your company will be receiving the best data security possible.  Bank and military-grade data encryption are considered to be the most secure, and thus should be sought out by anyone looking for a true, airtight security solution for their cloud data.

In addition to this, there are other simple tips that can be taken to heart so as to ensure that your data remains secure while being stored in the cloud, and while being transferred to and from the cloud data cache and your company’s digital devices.  One of these tips would be to avoid any cloud vendor that only uses their customers’ email addresses as the default user name for all of their accounts.  After all, if this is indeed the case, anyone that might want to try to access your data and that happens to know your email address must then only worry about figuring out the password in order to easily hijack your personal information.  In this regard, it is also best to seek out cloud vendors that offer “client-side encryption keys”, in which, no matter what, only the owner of the cloud data can ever access said data at all, with not even the highest level IT specialist at the cloud services company themselves being able to decrypt their files!

Finally, another important factor that must be taken into consideration when attempting to ensure that your cloud data will remain secure is the reputation that a given cloud vendor has.  After all, no matter what level of data encryption is promised or advanced security tools supposedly leveraged by an online data backup service provider, no important data can ever be considered to be safe with cloud vendors that either offer subpar services, or that might not even end up being able to remain in business in the first place!  For this reason, be sure to only consider cloud vendors that appear to be in the cloud services industry for the long haul, and also have a strong, vocal customer base that you can easily track down unbiased reviews from using online discussions, reviews, or even good old-fashioned word of mouth.

The bottom line is that, while there can certainly be security concerns with cloud computing, if you are sure to find a truly high-quality cloud vendor you shouldn’t have to be concerned with security at all.  Of course, we here at KineticD certainly understand just how much responsibility it is to have customers trust us with the safety and security of their irreplaceable digital files.  For this reason, we employ 448-bit Blowfish data encryption to all our clients’ data at the source, a level of encryption that is Bank Grade and has never been cracked.  And in addition to this, in the over 10 years that we’ve been in the cloud service industry, we’ve never lost a file, nor had the security of any of our clients’ files breached in any way.  However, don’t just take our word for it; stop by our website today to find out more about how we always keep all of our clients’ data safe and secure.  And, be sure to search online as well to find out what major publications and our over 60,000 business users worldwide have to say about our state of the art online data backup and cloud computing services.

About the author: Ben Puzzuoli is Technical Sales Director at KineticD, a Toronto based online data backup service provider.


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