) is a big propont of the ever burgeoning reliance on data
storage in the invisible but growing 'cloud.'
This virtual, online-only environment has a number of
advantages. The cloud allows users to access files from virtually
any device and from any location. It allows users to share and
interact with documents instantly and easily. And since cloud
providers are willing to offer an unlimited number of storage
options (often for a fee, of course), consumers and business
professionals can dump their clunky, breakable hard drives and
store everything online.
In theory, the cloud is the solution to everyone's existing
problems. Unfortunately, the cloud has its own set of problems
that make it impossible to fully support.
Business professionals are learning the hard way that it can
be very risky to store their important files exclusively in the
cloud. In addition to the risk that they will be hacked and
), the files could become inaccessible by a simple outage.
Google Drive users
learned that the hard way
when the service went down last week. While the outage lasted no
more than a few hours for most users (some were back online
within 90 minutes
), it was another painful reminder of the risk involved in
storing files online.
Google outages have frustrated users since its Gmail service
was created more than six years ago. While e-mail is and always
has been a cloud-based service (excluding opened messages that
may have been saved to a user's hard drive), word documents,
spreadsheets, presentations and other business files were
traditionally created and stored on one PC or server.
Consequently, when a bug allowed private documents to be
viewed by others
in 2009, Google users were upset. When Chinese hackers
breached Google's security measures
two years ago, users were concerned about the safety of their
Last December, when a
prevented users from accessing their Google Drive files, users
continued to suffer.
Michael Carney wrote about how one simple error could potentially
exploit sensitive Google Drive files that were only intended to
be viewed by select individuals.
Worst of all, these problems are not exclusive to Google.
) Office 365 has
Dropbox, one of the more popular file storage and sharing
services available, has also had
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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