Cloud Computing Data Storage and Security

by Michael V
The article written by Lara Farra describes the benefits in contrast to the risks of cloud computing. Cloud computing is described to be a method of moving data that was previously stored in your own personal computer to be stored in someone else’s servers in order to reduce hardware costs or to access them on any device with an internet connection. Despite the convenience of cloud computing, the author points out three major flaws in the system: security, server availability, and privacy. Many of these concerns are related to hackers who are expected to pose a major threat to the security of the client’s data, as cloud computing servers are growing to become serious targets for hackers who want to extract people’s information. The lack of laws regarding cloud computing also fails to set a suitably high standard for these data storage companies, and also allows for the government to easily attain information through these servers.

This article about cloud computing reflects this week’s lecture topic about Database Environment and Development Process by focusing on a specific type of database utilized by both companies and individual users. Cloud computing is essentially the process of  storing your database on foreign server run by another party rather than your own database. I have personally utilized a branch of cloud computing, the cloud server MediaFire, to store and share minor files to be accessed at a later period in time. It is a useful backup in case anything happens to my own computer, as well as a convenient way to transfer files between my friends and I. The cloud server certainly came in handy when my archaic laptop suddenly had an unrecoverable crash. Through the service of MediaFire, I was able to at least scavenge some of my music and some homework documents that I had previously uploaded. The site MediaFire has more of a focus on catering to individuals for low or free cost, so many of the inherent problems brought up by the article such as security or server availability times did not bother me.

Cloud computing is a growing service industry because of its ease of use for data storage and access, but has many issues stemming from the lack of control the clients have over the servers. Many large companies today rely on cloud computing in order to store the databases that they work from, so security and server availability are a must. However, the article pointed out how the cloud servers that host these databases are now becoming active targets for hackers to extract information from, posing a threat to the companies’ business intelligence. Server downtime can also cripple a company’s ability to process data, resulting in chaos and lost revenue during the time that they cannot access the required information. Despite these risks, many companies still trust cloud computing enough to utilize the system. I feel that the benefits of having a backup located in a foreign server as well as the money saved from hardware costs is enough to justify the risk and to take advantage of this amazing service.

 

Source:
How safe is cloud computing? (2010, March 12) Retrieved March 29, 2012 from CNN Tech
Web site: http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-12/tech/cloud.computing.security_1_computing-convenience-stored/2?_s=PM:TECH