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Common Issues with Storing Data on the Public Cloud

With so much buzz around cloud computing and, in particular, cloud-based data storage, it's no surprise to see so many embracing the cloud for storage. It's a growing trend amongst consumers and businesses alike, and more data is being uploaded to cloud servers every single day. However, as IT experts become more familiar with the cloud, and as hackers and identity thieves modify their games to target cloud-based data, a number of questions have been raised surrounding the security of public cloud data.

Privacy: Although many people move to the cloud for greater data privacy, there's really no guarantee that your data is safe from prying others. In this regard, on-premises data storage actually gives you far more privacy – or at least control – over your data.

Backup: In many cases, cloud service providers don't provide automated data backup. Instead, they leave this arduous task up to you – which could defeat one of the primary purposes of transitioning to the cloud in the first place.

Compliance: Compliance is a major concern for businesses and enterprises that use the public cloud. While some cloud service providers offer built-in features and functionality that help you achieve and maintain compliance, others ignore this critical aspect of data storage.

Leakage: Data leakage is a major concern with cloud-based storage, too. Ideally, you don't want anyone to access your data unless you've sent it to them in the first place. With data leakage, however, you could be exposing critical information without even realizing it.

Unauthorized devices: While access to your cloud-based data should be tightly controlled and limited to your specific hardware, enterprises that use the cloud often have many different users and a myriad of different devices connecting to their servers. This is especially true in the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) culture of today, where employees are often encouraged to use their own, personal devices as much as possible.

APIs: APIs and storage gateways are often used to streamline the process of migrating data into the cloud. In short, they serve to close the gap between the end user and the cloud service provider. As useful as they are, insecure APIs and storage gateways can actually cause significant harm. If you do opt for one, make sure it's from a reputable developer.

Time management: Some companies are concerned about the amount of time it takes to transition to a cloud-based environment. Not only does it add a need for additional, more complex infrastructure, but the time it takes to complete a full cloud implementation could result in lower productivity for several days or even weeks.

Hidden costs: Finally, there are some hidden costs to be aware of when using the public cloud for data storage. Egress charges, which are usually incurred when moving from one cloud service provider to another, tend to vary greatly between companies. Some service providers include a number of other hidden fees and services, too, so make sure to read the fine print before settling on your new cloud service provider.


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