Societies have always amassed documents and invested in their archiving. But the digital age has brought an intense proliferation of all kinds of data. Every single second the world’s population is generating uncountable documents, photos, records, communications and every imaginable kind of information. The trouble is where to keep it all.
Cloud storage offers many advantages over traditional data storage. It is flexible, since it allows access to data from anywhere and can expand as needs for storage grow. It is also extremely simple and cost-efficient, since there is no hardware to maintain, no staff to employ. Cloud storage has become so popular that there are hundreds solutions on the market.
The two biggest concerns about cloud storage are reliability and security.
Clients and general users are not likely to entrust their data to another company without a guarantee that (1) they will be able to access their information whenever they want and (2) no one else will be able to get at it. Some user collectives, professionals, and even government officials in Public Administration are not allowed by law to do so.
To secure data, most systems use a combination of techniques, including:
- Authentication processes, which identify authorized users, are represented by a user name and password.
- Authorization practices, where there are lists with users authorized to access the files stored on the cloud system. In many scenarios this authorization has to be multi-level to distinguish different functions and users.
- Encryption processes, which use a complex algorithm to encode information so that a user needs to know and operate the proper encryption key to decode the encrypted files.
Authorization and encryption mechanisms are responsible for protecting the privacy of your data and, by extension, your own privacy. If any of them fail, the whole system fails.
In particular, the cryptographic algorithm used has to be strong enough to assure you that your potential attackers do not have access to the computer processing power required to discover the secret key to decrypt your information.