Head in the clouds?

There’s a market for cloud computing, and why shouldn’t there be – after all, it’s an extremely convenient method for file storage and synchronization. From Microsoft, Google, and Apple, to Salesforce, Amazon, and AVG, cloud competition is on the rise; And, with the demand for convenience growing stronger each day, so too grows the need for innovation.

Cue Upthere. Founded in 2011 by Bertrand Serlet, its message is simple – or is it? The company website states, “By directly joining the device and the cloud, a more powerful computer emerges.” While this is true in respect to storage and sharing, security and access are more complicated matters.

There’s little doubt that Upthere’s products (Upthere Camera and Upthere Home), which are currently in beta, will offer a multitude of conveniences when it comes to sharing. But what happens when your information is accidentally shared or accessed by an outsider? Multitenancy offers increased sharing, but also increased risk; a single flaw could lead to the exploitation of your data. To make matters worse, many public cloud providers have contract clauses that state that your data becomes the property of the provider upon its storage.

Let us be clear, it’s not that we dislike cloud computing; we’re simply aware of its risks and we take measures to mitigate them. Goodsync offers users the ability to store files locally, communicate with the cloud as a second source for storage, while also encrypting the information before it is sent to the cloud. If you’re storing files within the cloud, be sure to educate yourself on the security risks and encrypt your data for an added layer of protection.

What about cloud access? Purely cloud-based storage requires you to be connected to the internet at all times. What happens if the cloud happens to go down? When you give up control of your information, you also give up control to its accessibility. Rather than storing everything in the cloud, consider synchronizing your information between the cloud and your device, ensuring access to your information no matter the situation.

While we all enjoy the excitement of the “latest and greatest,” we crave creature comforts – familiarity being one of them. It’s undoubtedly easier to compose and edit documents using familiar software such as Word and Excel on local machines. From there users can easily sync those documents to the cloud, and encrypt them for added security.

In sum, while cloud based storage has its advantages, syncing is not, nor should it be a thing of the past. A healthy balance between cloud and local folder storage will ensure the greatest combined level of convenience, security, and access. As the saying goes – moderation in all things.