The days of a company storing confidential files in cardboard boxes and placing them in locked areas the basement are over because businesses have switched to cloud storage.
Cloud storage uses computers, not paper, and a company's data is backed up, off-site, to prevent loss of information. Individuals also use cloud storage sites to store their music or photos online. This type of data can be publicly shared by others. A company’s data remains private and secure with only employees accessing the information.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing uses a network of remote servers to store, organize and manage data over the Internet. A business uses special software to interface with the remote servers. The process is called a "cloud" because users do not see the back end of the system, which are the remote servers. The leading data centers, such as offer a customized approach to data storage.
For many firms it is not feasible to outsource their entire IT infrastructure. A quality data center enables companies to select the areas that would work best in the cloud while keeping their other processes in-house.
The outsourced data center backs up the various files on network servers in other locations. In this way, a company can still retrieve information in the event the original set of network servers malfunction in some way. Cloud usage provides the ability to access information at any time. However, the computers or other devices used to download the information must be connected to the Internet.
Most of the information that is collected from clients is considered personal and confidential. For instance, health care insurers collect patients' Social Security Numbers, addresses and phone numbers, contact information, employment information and health history.
Knowing that identity theft can occur if such personal information falls into the wrong hands, cloud service providers encrypt these files to ensure the safety of the information during transmission. Encryption means the content of the files cannot be read during transit. For security purposes, the files remain encrypted on the remote servers.
It's recommended that only a few internal employees have access to cloud-stored data. This will reduce the chances of disgruntled or dishonest employees stealing the data to do damage to the company. Data centers also have internal security monitoring systems to make sure that data is being accessed only by company-designated employees.
If an employee’s cloud password, is lost or stolen or if they leave the firm, their data can be removed from all of the computers and other devices they used. In this way, a former employee can no longer remotely access the company’s data.
The new health care law mandated health care providers to use cloud usage to securely store patient and other health care-related information.
Cloud computing appears to be here to stay which means that cardboard boxes can be used to store supplies from unused desks rather than storing confidential information and placing it under lock and key in the basement as they once did.
Teresa Stewart is a professional blogger who frequently researches technology trends. She has found that QTS is one of the leading data center providers in the nation. They provide clients with customizable platforms to fit their current infrastructure and the ability to change their services as their business grows.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/miran/6040100105/