Cloud Storage Definition, Benefits, Security

2024/ 29/01

Cloud Storage: What Is It? Businesses and consumers can safely store data online with cloud storage, allowing for easy sharing of that data with authorized parties and anytime access from any place. Additionally, cloud storage provides an off-site data recovery method through data backup.

Today, individuals have access to several free cloud computing services such as Google drive, Dropbox, and Box, which all come with upgraded subscription packages that offer larger storage sizes and additional cloud services.

What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage offers a simple way to store and/or move data in a secure and safe manner. It allows individuals and businesses to keep their files stored with the cloud services provider for on-demand access on any of their devices. Cloud storage can also be used to archive data that requires long-term storage but does not need to be accessed frequently, such as certain financial records. Increasingly, files stored "in the cloud" are utilized for group collaboration.

Cloud storage works by allowing a client computer, tablet, or smartphone to send and retrieve files online to and from a remote data server. The same data is usually stored on more than one server simultaneously so that clients can always access their data even if one server is down or loses data. For example, a laptop computer owner might store personal photos both on her hard drive and in the cloud in case the laptop is stolen. 

A cloud storage system can be designed to store specific kinds of data, such digital images or music files, or it can be used to store all kinds of data, including spreadsheets, text documents, presentations, audio files, and images. 

Dr. Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider, a computer scientist, is credited with creating cloud storage in the 1960s.  AT&T introduced the first web-based storage service for personal and corporate communication in the middle of the 1990s. Numerous more services have gained popularity since then. The most well-known cloud storage companies are Google, Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, Apple (iCloud), and Amazon.

How Cloud Storage Benefits Businesses?

By removing the requirement for data storage infrastructure on the company's premises, cloud storage enables enterprises with large data storage needs to save a substantial amount of money and space. Instead of the cloud customers having to, the cloud storage provider owns and maintains all required infrastructure and software. Even if buying continuous cloud storage can end up costing more in the long term, the initial cost can be far lower. Furthermore, if their storage demands change, businesses may virtually instantaneously scale up or down the amount of cloud storage they have access to.

The cloud also enables employees to collaborate with colleagues—and work remotely and outside of regular business hours—while facilitating smooth document collaboration by allowing authorized employees easy access to the most updated version of a file. At the personal level, cloud storage allows mobile data and enables digital life in the holistic way we live it today. Without the cloud, smart phones would not be able to be the interface of so much data ( photos, documents, information on the go). Using the cloud to store files can also have a positive effect on the environment since it cuts down energy consumption.

Cloud Storage Security

There is so much attention on cloud storage today in the digital era because so much of our sensitive personal data is stored in the cloud whether we voluntarily store it there or whether a company we do business with decides to store it there. As a result, cloud security has become a major concern. Users wonder whether their information is safe, and increasing data breaches have demonstrated that sometimes it isn’t. Users are also concerned about whether the data they have stored on the cloud will be accessible when they need it.

While cloud storage may seem vulnerable due to the prevalence of hacking, the alternatives, such as onsite storage, have security vulnerabilities, too. Company-provided cloud storage can actually improve security by giving employees an alternative to using their personal accounts to back up and transfer files that they need to access outside the office.

A good cloud storage provider will have data redundancy, storing the same files in multiple physical locations so that it survives any human errors, equipment failures, or natural disasters. A reputable provider will also store and transmit data securely so that no one can access it without permission. Some users might also require that data be stored in such a way that it can only be read but not changed; this feature, too, is available through cloud storage.