Cloud Storage, Thumb Drive or Disk Drive? Pros and Cons
By Anita Campbell,
Be certain that the storage solutions you choose are going to keep your data secure.
Today’s businesses need to store more data than ever before. In fact, data storage requirements are growing by about 40 percent each year. However, you need to make sure that the storage solutions you choose are going to keep your data secure. In fact, there were an average of 62 cyberattacks each day in 2018, with many of those affecting businesses and their sensitive data.
In order to keep all of the data you use safe and easily accessible, you need to find the right storage and backup solutions. There are a ton of different options to choose from, including cloud storage, thumb drives, and disk drives. All of these options have their own advantages and drawbacks. So you need to carefully consider your own storage needs before choosing. And you might even opt to make use of multiple options in different ways.
Here’s a rundown of each of these options so you can create the combination that works best for your small business.
Cloud storage is a model that essentially allows users to store files and information across various servers. So you don’t keep it in a hard drive that’s located on-premises. Instead, it’s backed up in a separate location.
One of the main benefits of cloud storage is that it allows your data to be accessible from anywhere. You can bring up the same files at your desk that you can on your home computer or your laptop when you travel. You can also give your team members access, or even allow clients to view select files through cloud sharing platforms. Keeping your files saved in a separate location from your business can also be useful in disaster recovery. If there’s a flood or fire at your facility, you can still access that important data if your hard drives or on-premises servers were destroyed.
However, security is a major concern for businesses using cloud storage solutions. Since the data is not stored in your own disks or hard drives, you have less control over who can access it. And hackers often target cloud based storage platforms. So you may not want to use this solution for files that contain customer information, financial records or confidential company data. In fact, only about 18 percent of all files uploaded to cloud based sharing and collaboration platforms contain sensitive data. But despite those challenges, about 80 percent of businesses have adopted cloud storage in some capacity.
A thumb drive is a small, portable device that allows you to store and share files. You plug it into a computer or other device using the USB port. Then you can add files to back them up in a second location or easily share those documents with other devices.
These devices are small and very simple to operate. You simply plug it into your computer and drag and drop files that you want to back up. Some even offer advanced features like password protection so you can keep those files extra secure.
However, if you use them on a device that’s infected with viruses or malware, you could end up spreading those vulnerabilities around your office. Additionally, their small size makes it easy for users to lose or break them. So they probably shouldn’t serve as your main storage solution for especially important items.
A disk drive is a type of hardware that uses rotating disks and electro-mechanical technology to store information. This can either be housed within a computer or laptop, or contained on a separate external hard drive.
This type of storage is fairly affordable and easy to use. There are a variety of hard drive storage options out there. And many offer higher capacities than those available with small thumb drives. So you can easily find an option that provides enough capacity for your storage needs, even if you need to store large files or programs.
However, this type of physical storage doesn’t last forever. And when the disk stops working, you could end up losing the data you have stored on it. As such, it’s usually best to back up the data you have stored on this type of device on another source as well. They also don’t usually come with password protection or advanced security features. So it may not be the best option for super sensitive data. But someone would usually need to have a physical copy of the disk in order to access that information.
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