Let’s Explore: What is Data Security, and Why is It Important?
What is Data Security?
Information is one of the most important assets a company can have. Whether it's unimportant or confidential, a business relies on its information to function. But as our reliance on the Internet has grown, so has our need for more sophisticated methods to keep our data safe; enter "Data Protection Services." Data protection is a business of its own – and for good reason. Without it, our information would be vulnerable to a host of security threats, making these services essential in ensuring our data remains safe.
This blog will talk about cloud data protection – what it is, how it works, and why you should consider a cloud data solution for your business today.
What is Data Protection?
Data protection, at its core, is a system that provides a secure environment for businesses to store and manage their data. Go back 100 years, and this system was often a combination of filing cabinets and wall safes, but now, most data is digital, and depending on the size of the company using these services, the methods of protecting their data can vary. Where large companies for a long time had relied on building and managing their own data centers to store information, many are switching to cloud storage now – a method in which information is stored on the Internet through a cloud computing provider.
What is the Cloud?
The term "cloud" can seem a bit nebulous and metaphorical, but it's a central part of the services we use every day. Rather than storing information on your laptop or smartphone, the cloud stores data across a global network of interconnected remote servers. These servers store and manage data, run applications, and deliver content over the Internet, allowing access from any Internet-capable device, wherever it may be. Commonly used productivity software like Google Drive and Google Docs use cloud networks to function, and services like Netflix and Hulu stream content to your television from cloud data centers. And just as many consumer-facing products have switched to the cloud, data storage solutions for companies have been gradually doing the same.
Why Cloud Data Storage?
One of the most significant benefits of cloud data storage is that it is cost effective and scalable. A company does not have to be responsible for maintaining its storage area, replacing failed devices, or expanding its capacity when needed. Previously having to do so often cost companies time and money, but because a third-party provider manages the storage, significantly less of both must go into getting the same (or a better) result. In large part, that's due to the cloud's ability to "scale" or its ability to adapt as a business grows. Cloud data providers can often expand or reduce storage needs on demand with a few simple clicks on a computer, making the entire process of developing a business less complicated than it may have been in the past.
Additionally, data security in cloud computing is better and more secure (from loss) than traditional, on-site storage alternatives. A big reason for the improved security of cloud computing is the redundant nature of cloud storage solutions. Where a company in the past may have had a single collection of servers, cloud data providers have thousands, meaning if one of their data centers fails, another one is ready to pick up the slack.
Are There Disadvantages to Cloud Data Storage?
However, some of the cloud's biggest disadvantages come from its greatest pros: the fact that it is off site and Internet connected. Though an all-virtual solution to data managed by a third party saves a business in many ways, this method requires an Internet connection to function. Today, that's usually not a problem. Most everyone has access to high-speed Internet, from small, rural communities to large, burgeoning enterprises, but ISPs aren't perfect, and the Internet isn't always reliable. By using the cloud, companies depend on a stable Internet connection to access their data. And though they can often sync files to access them offline, interacting with the cloud in real-time requires their connection to keep up.
Additionally, because these servers are off-site, a company relies on its storage provider for cloud data security. And because of the nature of the cloud's easily accessible infrastructure, along with its relative newness, this can be tough. Data breaches happen; you've probably heard of some, and while these providers have robust security measures to ensure data owners are the only ones with access authorization, these measures can fail and put data at risk of being leaked or destroyed.
As we become more connected and Internet dependent, it's natural that how we do things will shift. Data has long existed online, and as cloud data storage becomes more a norm than an exception, the security measures necessary to keep our data safe will need to grow to match it. For businesses, cloud data storage offers a variety of benefits. It's cost effective and scalable, saving companies time and money as they grow. But these solutions aren't without their faults; companies may find the off-site, always-online nature of it all off-putting, and the more risk-averse may find these solutions unsafe. But if fast, reliable Internet is your concern – it doesn't have to be.
You need a service provider who understands you and is available whenever you need them. Here at Shentel, we are committed to providing the services you need to stay connected, and we pride ourselves on doing so in a way that makes sense. To learn more about the plans we offer, or to ask any questions, feel free to get in touch with us today!