Big data loss: What to do when the almighty cloud fails

Big data loss: What to do when the almighty cloud fails JT Ripton is a business consultant and freelance business, marketing and technology writer out of Tampa.


If you use the cloud, it’s probably for a few main reasons: you can store large amounts of data, you can share your data easily, and you’re very unlikely to lose your data. But cloud data loss does happen, and even if the chances are low, it still might happen to you. Make sure you’ve protected your data from every angle to make sure you never lose it, no matter what happens.

Server failure

When you or your business stores something on the cloud, to you it seems like it’s backed up in a bunch of places because you can use it so easily from multiple devices. That data is actually stored on a server and available to you via the internet. The cloud companies who own these servers do their utmost to protect your data, but sometimes servers fail, which wipes information. There’s not a lot anyone can do about it. To protect yourself against server failure, back up your data in two places, be it two clouds or a cloud and an external storage device.

Inclement weather

Google lost data from a data centre in Belgium because of an unlucky number of lightning strikes. No matter what these companies do to protect your data, they can’t control the weather. The probability of a weather incident interfering with your cloud storage is low, but it’s not impossible. Think about if a bigger natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina struck a city with lots of servers. Not only would cloud services stop working, the data would probably disappear due to extreme server damage.

Cyber attacks

Your small business or personal computer probably won’t end up the direct victim of a cyber-attack, but the companies storing your data are much bigger and more likely targets. Security breaches, unfortunately, happen relatively frequently. Sometimes, your data gets copied and stolen. Other times, it gets deleted. To protect yourself, look into your most effective cloud security options. You may want to encrypt your data, password protect everything, or use two-factor authentication.

Malware and password theft

A cyber-attack on Amazon isn’t aimed at you directly. Malware, though? That targets your machine specifically, installing nasty files that like to steal your data, like your passwords. If you lose even one password, you can end up losing everything you have stored, depending on how you use your cloud. Change your passwords often, get good virus protection on your computer, and back up your data in multiple places. Try not to use the same password for everything, either. If you’re worried about malware at work, set up strict security protocols for how your employees can reach certain cloud data.

Cloud data loss comes from both physical and cyber threats, which is why your security needs to exist in both realms as well. Secure your cloud data online to make it less hackable, and remember to back it up to an external device so you have copies of your data not connected to the internet at all.

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