We live in the Information Age, and data is a precious thing. Whether an individual, a group, or a business, all that we are has been quantified into data. While this makes a lot of things easier, it also opens us up to a frightening degree of vulnerability.

After all, a hacker who gets a hold of someone’s personal information can steal their identity, ruin their credit rating, and seriously compromise that person’s ability to do anything that requires a Social Security number. On a bigger scale, a company that loses all of its information (customer lists and contacts, accounts payable/receivable, inventory, payroll, etc.) runs the risk of actually going out of business completely.

Therefore, it’s absolutely necessary for data to remain safe and secure. In order to do this, data needs to be backed up. How? Well …

The Backup Rule Of Three

Long-standing wisdom regarding data backups tells us that you should have three copies of important data. Two of those copies should be in different formats (e.g. hard dive, flash drive, Dropbox), and one of them should be offsite.

That’s the Rule of Three, alternatively called the Backup 3-2-1 Rule, for obvious reasons. But let’s focus on the offsite aspect, specifically as how the cloud enters into this.

Cloud Storage

Put simply, cloud storage is a model where data is remotely stored, managed, maintained, and backed up. This data is accessible by customers over a network, and that’s usually the Internet. Examples of cloud storage include Dropbox, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Cloud.

The Advantages Of Cloud Storage

Of all the advantages of cloud storage, one of the biggest and best is the fact that your data is stored offsite. After all, even if you back up all of your files onto a portable hard drive then store it in a different part of the building, well, if the place caught fire or was in a flood, it wouldn’t matter how many copies of data you made; most likely they’d all be ruined. By storing it offsite, the data is safe from natural disasters, building issues, and intruders who physically gained access to the business in question.

Storing data offsite also help companies to conform to strict government and industry standards, rules put in place especially in light of hackers and cyber-attacks. So not only is your data safe, you’re also operating within approved parameters, something that new clients will be glad for.

Finally, storing data offsite in one central data pool makes it easier to access the information quicker. Storing data in the cloud only SOUNDS like it’s being put in a hard to get spot. Well, in a way it is, but only for those who aren’t supposed to access it. For the rest of the folks, it’s actually a good way to have that data well-organized and in easy reach.┬áMore compelling thoughts on the whole matter of cloud storage can be found in the article “Why Onsite Backups Need To Be Supplemented With Offsite Backups”.

Are There Downsides?

Out of fairness, some mention should be made about the drawbacks of cloud storage. First of all, yes, it’s another expense. If you have a cost-conscious business, that could be a detriment. There are also sometimes questions about data ownership; who owns the data that a cloud storage service maintains?

The biggest downside, of course, comes down to security. There are well-known news stories out there about cloud storage services getting hacked and private data finding its way onto the Internet. Fortunately, cloud security is rather good, and many times security breaches come from poorly chosen passwords or other careless habits.

The Future’s In The Clouds

All in all, cloud storage makes sense of any company, regardless of its size. It’s also a good idea for consumers, especially those who have a lot of valuable, precious data, whether it’s sentimental value or having to do with finances or home businesses.

Want more thoughts on the matter? Check out “Why Cloud Backup Is Essential To Sustain In Today’s Competitive Business World”.