Using online file storage is fast becoming a standard operating procedure for business. The advantage is that you no longer need to store large amounts of data in-house on expensive hard drives.
However, storing files in the cloud doesn’t come without a few potential issues, and one of these – perhaps the major one now that storage has become cheaper – is keeping files secure.
Is the cloud server secure?
Since your data is going to be stored on your cloud provider’s servers, you need to know how secure their system is.
You should look closely at the agreement you have with them to make sure it complies with Australian Government regulations on internet security. Important questions to ask at the set-up stage include:
- What guarantees do they give that their online storage is safe?
- What is their disaster recovery plan?
- How long will it take for them to restore your data and access to it if they have an outage?
- Will your business be able to operate in the time it’ll take them to get up and running again?
Turning your files into unreadable gibberish when they are stored isn’t as scary as it sounds – that’s how encryption works, and it’s vital in keeping your data secure. So even if someone accesses your data in the cloud, they need an encryption key to unlock the information. Businesses either encrypt the files to be stored in the cloud before they leave the office computer, or let the cloud provider take care of the encryption. Make you ask your cloud provider about the encryption process.
A typical kind of encryption is that offered by eFax for our free cloud storage. Files are SSl-encrypted when faxed, and when they are stored in your virtual inbox it’s with 128-bit encryption. That means that if someone comes across your files who doesn’t have the key, they have to try 2128 possibilities before they can break it. Estimates are that trying each of these would take millions of years!
The latest encryption keys take so long to hack that your data is just as safe in the cloud as it is on your computer – in fact, it’s safer. After all, unless you’ve done it yourself, the files sitting on your office computer if you don’t use the cloud are not encrypted.
So, as long as you are aware of the right questions to ask when setting up your cloud storage, and deal with a reputable provider of cloud services, online file storage is a safe and effective way to store your business data.