Security concerns surrounding cloud storage persist

Data security remains a critical concern for consumers and business users alike. Cybercriminals have shown time and again that they are willing to target anyone and crack any system to get their hands on sensitive information. Data such as Social Security numbers and financial records can be easily leveraged by hackers for profit.

These issues have permeated various types of networks, but public cloud servers may be especially at risk. When users place their sensitive information and files in the hands of a third party, they lose the ability to control and monitor that data. There's no guarantee that cloud vendors are adhering to cybersecurity best practices, increasing the potential for a devastating attack to cut off customers from their documents.

According to InformationWeek, the Cloud Security Alliance recently issued a list of the most pressing threats to the integrity of hosted services, with data breaches taking the top spot. The report's authors stated that for all of its benefits, cloud computing still posed questions regarding the security and integrity of information stored on its servers. In addition, they questioned whether the cloud could ever become 100 percent secure.

Data loss sat just behind data breach in the number two spot on the list, demonstrating that concerns of this nature extend beyond unauthorized access. Losing sensitive or one-of-a-kind documents because of an issue with a cloud service can be devastating for the end user. Although data loss may be most readily associated with malfunctioning or damaged hardware, the threat is just as pressing for hosted information. In 2011, the popular public cloud outlet, Amazon Web Services, experienced a massive service disruption due to human error, resulting in data loss for some users. The CSA report noted that there are many circumstances in which hosted information can be lost permanently.

"Any accidental deletion by the cloud service provider, or worse, a physical catastrophe such as a fire or earthquake, could lead to the permanent loss of customers' data unless the provider takes adequate measures to backup data," the report stated. "Furthermore, the burden of avoiding data loss does not fall solely on the provider's shoulders. If a customer encrypts his or her data before uploading it to the cloud, but loses the encryption key, the data will be lost as well."

Back up cloud storage tools
Given the many concerns surrounding the integrity of data stored in the cloud, it's advisable that consumers back up any important files they may have through a more reliable and less vulnerable product. Physical data archiving solutions can provide a great deal of support to individuals who use the cloud as their primary form of storage. In particular, Blu-ray media offers a secure and reliable platform to back up important documents and files. Unlike many other archiving methods, Blu-ray discs are not vulnerable to infection or data corruption, ensuring the information stored on them remains intact.

Cloud storage vendors have long dealt with concerns regarding the long-term availability of user information. There have been numerous instances of providers closing up shop with little to no forewarning, leaving their customers out in the cold. The durability of Blu-ray media gives individuals peace of mind knowing that their important files will be available whenever they are needed. The reliability and ease-of-use make Blu-ray the perfect platform for archiving data on a consumer level.

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