To date Cloud storage has proved to be generally reliable and secure but because the server computers can be located anywhere in the world, and are accessible through the public Internet, they are vulnerable to all of the threats that you have mentioned, plus a few more besides. For example, a disruption to your Internet service could make your files unavailable and from a security standpoint you have to accept the fact that they could be accessed by government agencies and anyone with sufficient resources and determination. Cloud storage companies can and do fail, though thankfully this is still a fairly rare occurrence and hopefully you will have sufficient warning and be able to retrieve or move your data. The bottom line is that if you absolutely must be able to get at your data at any time and be assured that it is as safe as possible then the answer is to encrypt it and store it locally on at least two external hard drives, with the second one kept securely ‘off-site’, preferably deep underground in an earthquake-proof bunker… But seriously, nowadays hard drives from the major manufacturers are incredibly reliable and data can usually be retrieved, even after a catastrophic failure so in the end you will have to make the judgement on where to keep your files and backups based on their value, importance and sensitivity, because no method of digital storage can ever be one hundred per cent safe.
Published by Charles Aunger
Charles Aunger is a proven cloud and enterprise technology innovator as well as a recognized pioneer in the digital transformation of healthcare IT. An international thought leader and industry visionary, he is a highly sought-after speaker at global healthcare industry events on topics that range from operational innovation and data liquidity to digital transformation strategy, AI and big data, and best practices in aligning business, technical, and operational needs at scale. This pivotal role leverages his 15-year track record as a solutions expert responsible for the selection, implementation, and life cycle support of clinical, financial, and regulatory applications at scale. As executive director at Stanford Health Care, Charles led the innovation team that supported over 15,000 employees and enabled pivotal partnerships with leading organizations such as HPE, Intel, Apple and Microsoft. As senior vice president at Cleveland Clinical Abu Dhabi, he directed the strategic planning and tactical execution efforts of a 175-person IT team, charged with balancing costs, solutions and business model requirements for a £3 billion technical solution in a 300,000+ user project. A noted IT strategist, Charles previously served in executive IT roles Up to CTO at major technology-driven organizations around the globe including Mubadala, Accenture, Citrix, NHS, Numonyx, and Bupa. He also freely shares his expertise and provides executive guidance to technology start-ups; at present, is also an advisor to Health2047, a board member, industry advisor, mentor, Fellow at the British Computer Society (BCS) and a member of the Forbes Technology Council. View all posts by Charles Aunger