Putting your information on a far away server can be scary unless you understand how they operate. There are three different types of cloud architectures good for different uses: public, private, and hybrid. The primary difference is who can access the data. Public data do not hide their data from anyone, and can be great for collaboration. Private clouds do restrict who can view data, but can also be useful for collaboration and sharing data. Sometimes you need a mixture of the two, and that’s where hybrid clouds come into play. First, let’s go over when a public cloud may make sense.
A public cloud can be something as simple as a word document that anyone can see. These can be useful for scheduling volunteers because people can see the information you’re working with. As long as sensitive PII (Personally Identifiable Information) is not stored on this cloud it should be relatively safe. The best measure for keeping this cloud safe is maintaining a secure admin account and carefully monitoring information. Thankfully, private clouds are a bit more common in our day-to-day life.
Private clouds are clouds that have restricted access, and they’re great for backing up sensitive data. Your pictures or videos on your phone get uploaded to a private cloud. A good rule of thumb is that if your data does not exist in three secure places then it does not exist at all. This is because redundancy protects against a server going down or you losing access to a resource in the future. Medical providers also use private clouds so you can manage your information, and they can share it with other providers. Software such as firewalls can help restrict traffic to ensure security. Two factor authentication should be strongly considered for these clouds, and backing up information in these clouds for quick restoration if hacked is also worth considering.
Lastly, hybrid clouds are a combination of private and public clouds. Your private cloud can operate as a hybrid cloud. You may have documents or pictures that you do not mind sharing with the public, but you may not want to share all your information. In a lot of cases these and private clouds are the most common type of clouds. Keeping that in mind it is not worth avoiding using the cloud because of paranoia. Google and Microsoft likely would not benefit off deeply analyzing your personal data. However, they do benefit when you upgrade your membership to store more family pictures or videos.
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