Here is a look at a few storage models, along with some thoughts about their vulnerabilities:
1. Online storage (Cloud Storage). Online data storage is one of the safest and most secure options. World-class data security protocols protect your information, and redundant systems make sure that, even if a particular piece of hardware at the online storage provider fails, your data is safe and secure. The biggest vulnerabilities with online data storage have to do with the client computer or device that accesses it. You still need to follow best practices in terms of the computers that access the data in your online storage.
2. Hard drive storage. For a small business, data is often stored on the local hard drive or hard drives in the office. In many cases, there is no backup procedure, and there is no built-in redundancy. Your data is susceptible to loss through physical failure of the hard drive, having a virus infect the PC, and user error. Important data should almost never be stored on a local hard drive if you can help it.
3. Magnetic tapes. In some instances, using magnetic tapes for long-term data storage can be a good option. They don’t have the same risk of becoming infected with a virus that a hard drive will have. They have some other vulnerabilities, however, in that they have to be handled properly or risk physical damages. In addition, they’re dependent on backup hardware and software to access the data in the future.
4. Network storage. Network data storage is a step up from hard drive storage. This is the process whereby you store data on a network device, or on a server. The device or server will usually have some built-in redundancy to protect it from failure. The obvious downside to network storage is that, if the network isn’t accessible, neither is your data.
5. Removable media. Other media, like USB devices, flash drives, SD cards, DVDs and more can also be used to store data. Every one of these is highly susceptible to theft, loss, and physical damage. These media are wonderful for temporarily storing data that has to go from one location to another, but that’s about the extent of their usefulness.