Category Archives: Online Storage

Top 4 Cloud Security Trends of 2012 – Keeping Our Eyes on the Clouds

Cloud security trends 2012The end of the year is almost here, and there are quite a few cloud security trends we’ve noticed taking shape over the past eleven months that we wanted to share with you. In this blog post, we’ve listed the top four trends in cloud security for 2012.

Cloud Security Trend #1: Breaches are becoming inevitable

It seems each week we hear about a new security breach in the cloud. Dropbox’s security breach earlier this year reminded us all that our data is only as safe as the cloud vendor we use and no vendor has yet been able to claim that they are unbreachable. And because these breaches are now considered unavoidable, instead of ramping up more security to try and prevent breaches from happening altogether, businesses are investing in tools that will help them quickly and effectively detect and combat security breaches when occur.

Cloud Security Trend #2: Increasing malware directed at mobile devices

Malware attacks on mobile devices in the past have largely been considered to be not very serious (as people are more likely to keep their more personal/financial information on their computers than their phones), however, with so many people now using their mobile devices to access the Cloud and the Internet, cyber threats to mobile devices have increased as well.

Cloud Security Trend #3: Cloud security expands to include privacy, compliance and governance

As industries like the healthcare industry (with industry and governmental requirements) are starting to use cloud services, cloud security has been evolving to include compliance and governance capabilities so that those industries can legally start to use their storage solutions. Ramping up privacy, compliance and governance in cloud security is actually beneficial to everyone (not just specific industries).

Cloud Security Trend #4: Management looking at the security of large volumes of data

The idea here is that the more data you store in the Cloud, the more flexibility you provide for those who need to access that data. Companies are now looking for tools or services that will easily and securely allow them to access large amounts of data from multiple sources.

Hopefully, recognizing and understanding this year’s cloud security trends will help you to figure out how cloud security will evolve throughout 2013 and plan accordingly. Cloud storage will always come with risks, and so you really have to decide for yourself if using cloud security is worth taking on those inherent risks. To avoid cloud security issues altogether, check out TappIn Pro, a tool that allows you to securely access and share files no matter where they are saved (in the Cloud or on your computer).

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SaaS, PaaS, & IaaS Cloud Computing Segments – Explained

SaaS PaaS IaaSWe’ve written quite a bit about how to use cloud storage, as well as what risks are associated with cloud computing. However, there are several different segments of cloud computing that we have yet to identify or explain. In this blog post, we’ve identified three important segments of cloud computing as well as what purposes they best serve:

 1. SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) also known as “software on demand” is when you rent software from a vendor who hosts that software on centralized network servers making it available to users over the Internet. Currently this is the most popular cloud computing segment as it allows users to access data from anywhere, in turn giving them more freedom and agility. The most common SaaS applications include services like Google Docs and most customer relationship management (CRM) applications.

 2. PaaS

Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers a development platform for developers meaning that users write their own code, and the PaaS vendor uploads the code and displays it online. Facebook is an example of one type of a PaaS “social application platform,” in that end-users can write new applications that are made available to other end-users.

 3. IaaS

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), sometimes referred to as Hardware as a Service (HaaS), manages hosting and develops online environments for users. A good example of IaaS would be Amazon.com. Users utilize the Amazon infrastructure to sell their products, and in doing so avoid the costs associated with running an online platform like that.

Understanding the differences between these types of cloud computing services should ultimately help you understand if: a. cloud computing is right for your business at all, and b. if it is, which type of cloud computing is right for your business. No matter which segment best fits your needs, consider using remote access tools like TappIn Pro, which allow you to safely and securely conduct cloud computing, from anywhere on any device.

Related Posts
Dropbox Security Breach: You’re Only as Secure as Your Cloud Vendor
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Free Online Storage — A Look at Capabilities, Capacities, and Benefits

Finding a free online storage provider isn’t difficult as there are plenty to choose from these days. However, just finding a free online storage service doesn’t mean that you’ve found the right online storage solution for you. In this blog post, we’ve taken a look at the top six free online storage providers today, comparing their capacities, capabilities, mobile and desktop apps, and unique benefits.


Google Drive


Capacity:

5 GB
free storage

Monthly storage
rate for 100 GB – $4.99


Capabilities:

Create Word documents, spreadsheets,
and presentations,
not ideal for
music or video streaming

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

PC or Mac
for desktop

Android or iOS
for mobile


Unique Benefit:

Best for online document collaboration as it
lets users open
docs in browser,
and updates in
real time


DropBox


Capacity:

2 GB
free storage

Annual price for
100 GB – $99.99


Capabilities:

Backup Word documents, spreadsheets,
and presentations,
not ideal for
storing music or videos

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

Mac, Windows,
and Linux
for desktop

Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire
for mobile


Unique Benefit:

For each person
you refer to
Dropbox, you
receive an
increase
of 500 MB more
in free storage.


iCloud


Capacity:

5 GB
free storage

Annual price for
50 GB – $100


Capabilities:

Good online
storage solution
for storing
and streaming
music and videos
as well as other
file types

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

Mac and Windows
for desktop

iOS only for mobile


Unique Benefit:

If you have an
iOS mobile device, this provider has
an automatic
backup feature
for iOS devices.


Microsoft SkyDrive


Capacity:

7 GB
free storage

Annual price for
100 GB – $50


Capabilities:

Great for
documents –
not so great for
other file types

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

Windows and Mac
for desktop

iOS and Windows Phone for mobile


Unique Benefit:

Largest free tier
of all the online storage solutions (even larger
for those with
an older
Windows
Live/MSN account)


Box


Capacity:

5 GB
free storage

Annual price for
50 GB – $239.88


Capabilities:

Best for
accessing and
sharing large
files online

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

Windows and Mac
for Desktop

Android, iOS, Blackberry
for mobile


Unique Benefit:

Great for online collaboration.
Users can also
brand Box-
powered projects
with their own
logos and colors.


SugarSync


Capacity:

5 GB
free storage

Annual price for
100 GB – $149.99

 


Capabilities:

Perfect for online document collaboration –
can also stream
music and videos

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

PC and Mac
for Desktop

Android,
Blackberry,
Windows, iOS
for mobile


Unique Benefit:

One of the few
online storage providers that
is accessible on
all operating platforms

No matter which online storage provider you choose, these are the three most important aspects of an online storage provider:

  1. It’s capable of storing the file types (documents, music, video, etc.) you need stored.
  2. It’s paid plans are within your budget, if you need more storage.
  3. You’re able to access it through your desktop or mobile apps.

Hopefully, the previous table has helped you decide between which online storage provider you will choose to store your content.

Hopefully, the previous table has helped you decide between which online storage provider you will choose to store your content. However, as we’ve mentioned before all of these online storage solutions come with risks.  To learn more about tools and apps with which you can securely access all of your data no matter where it is saved (and to avoid risky online storage solutions), try out this 30 day free trial of TappIn Professional Edition.

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How to Use Cloud Storage – 5 Important Tips

As we’ve previously written, there are several different ways in which you can avoid online storage fees while still using online and cloud storage. In this blog post, we will share with you five important tips for how to use cloud storage:

Tip 1: Pay Attention to Storage Limits

Because there are so many free online storage offers from top cloud storage services, there is no reason you should have to pay to store files online. However, storing videos and music in your cloud storage solution can cause you to reach your free online storage limits much faster than you would if you were only saving word documents and text files. If you do store videos or music files online, make sure you aren’t exceeding your storage limit, and remove them from the cloud when you no longer need consistent remote access to those files.

Trick 2: Encrypt Your Cloud

Considering how many people are using cloud storage solutions for work and are accessing sensitive work materials from their online storage solutions, making sure that your data is encrypted when it’s in the cloud is important as data ownership in the cloud and cloud vendor security are both serious security issues today. There are a few tools available today that enable you to encrypt your data before storing it in the cloud.

Tip 3: Understand Your Cloud’s Streaming Capabilities

There are different cloud storage solutions for different forms of data. Many online storage and cloud solutions don’t offer comprehensive music streaming or video streaming features. Understanding which cloud storage solutions are right for which data will better help you to store more data online for free in the proper cloud storage solutions. For example, Google Drive, Dropbox and SugarSync are all great cloud storage solutions for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, while Cloud Drive and Cloud Player are better cloud storage solutions for streaming music.

Tip 4: Use Secure Devices to Access the Cloud

Do you know how secure your mobile access is? When using cloud storage solutions, not only do you have to worry about the security of the cloud storage solutions you choose to use, but you also must consider how secure your devices for accessing that sensitive data are. One way of doing this is to have your IT department install security features onto your mobile device. Another way of doing this is to use secure tools and apps like TappIn every time you access that data.

Tip 5: Bring Your Clouds Together

Recently, tools and services have been developed specifically designed to make it easier to access your data no matter where it’s saved. Use a tool or service (like TappIn) that will enable you to access all of your data no matter which cloud or network attached storage device it is saved in.

 

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3 Tips to Avoiding Online Storage Fees

Avoid online storage feesIf you are someone who uses multiple mobile devices (smartphone, computer, iPad, etc.) to access your files (music, documents, photos, etc.) you already know how convenient online storage solutions can be for remote file access and sharing. If you are someone who requires a lot of online storage, you also probably know how expensive online storage solutions can get.

Here we’ve listed three tips to help you avoid paying online storage fees so that you can access and share files remotely from anywhere without spending extra money.

 1. Take advantage of free online storage offers

All of the top online storage solutions offer a certain amount of free storage to start users off with. Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive, Sugarsync and iCloud all provide users with 5 GB of free storage, with paid plan options for more storage. However, depending on the file types of your digital property, only certain online storage solutions are capable of storing certain media files.

2. Use your hard drive and network-attached storage (NAS) devices for extra storage space

NAS devices can be expensive as well, but they usually come with more storage space as well as more control over your digital property. NAS devices and external hard drives also don’t have strict file specifications for what file types can be stored on them. So you can store everything from documents to photographs to music and videos.

 3. Use remote file sharing and remote file access tools

Many online storage solutions require you to save or sync all of your data in one location. With online collaboration tools with remote file access and file sharing capabilities, you can access data no matter where it is saved, even if it’s saved in a number of locations like a Dropbox, iCloud, and/or a NAS device.

The bottom line is, with so many online storage solutions offering vast free tier storage options, paying for online storage isn’t necessary if you find the right remote file access and file sharing tools capable of accessing all of those storage solutions from one place.

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Putting Businesses at Risk – The 3 Big IT Problems with Online Storage

The world’s workforce has changed drastically over the past few years with the advent of the internet and mobile technologies. Tools, services, and programs that enable people to store data online and help facilitate online collaboration are becoming more and more popular as more people join the BYOD (bring your own device) movement.

However, using these tools, services, and programs like the Cloud and Dropbox, that facilitate both online storage as well as online collaboration, has proven a major problem for many businesses’ IT departments. The primary role of the IT department in any business is to protect the digital content, data, files, ideas, etc. that belong to the business from cyber security threats.

The three biggest problems for IT departments whose employees use online storage are that:

1. Employees Choose Programs Differently than IT Departments

Employees usually adopt and use programs that are A. easy-to-use and B. inexpensive, and they don’t usually consider the security threats associated with using that program. IT departments choose programs that are first and foremost secure.

 2. Employees Don’t Ask Permission

Many employees using these online storage and online collaboration programs don’t seek any permission or clearance from their superiors or IT department before they decide to use the program. How can an IT department keep sensitive data protected when they don’t know where it is being saved?

 3. Employees Often Don’t Set the Right Privacy Settings

Because it is often the employee who decides which program they will use and not a member of the IT department, many employees using these programs don’t know how to set the proper security settings. Businesses don’t necessarily have to stop the use of these programs altogether, but if they do use them, the IT department should be in charge of setting the proper security settings for employees.

 

Related

Figure out how to design and implement an effective BYOD policy
Learn more about the risks of BYOD
Find out why this senior storage analyst chose TappIn over cloud storage

 

Cloud Backup – An Examination of the 6 Best Online Storage Services

Data backup has been one of the biggest concerns/demands in computer technology since the birth of computers. Before the internet and online storage solutions became available, network attached storage (NAS) devices (on-site external hard drives) were really the only viable option for extending storage on personal computers.

As computer and internet technology evolved, the desire for online storage solutions that could securely hold sensitive data, files, media, pictures, videos, and such grew as well.

The primary benefit of storing data online is obvious. By storing your data online, you don’t run the risk of losing that data if anything were to happen to your computer. For example, if your computer crashes, or if your computer contracts a virus, or even if your computer is physically damaged in some way, your data will still be safe online.

But, with all the choices available, how do you choose the best online storage service? To make your decision easier, we have examined the six most popular online storage services available today:

1. Cloud

Perhaps the most popular online storage service currently, the Cloud from Google offers a free trial with 5GB of free storage. Once the data storage limit is reached, you have the option of purchasing more cloud storage through paid plans.

The main issue with using the cloud is that it can become expensive, depending on how much online storage you may need.

2. Dropbox

Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage to start, as well as paid extended storage options if you exceed the 2GB free storage limit. Once you download Dropbox onto your desktop, you can immediately start saving files to the Dropbox folder.

The only issue with Dropbox is that a Dropbox folder must be created and you are only able to access data that was specifically saved to that Dropbox folder.

3. Mozy

Fast becoming a real player on the content collaboration and online storage scene, Mozy, like Dropbox, offers you 2GB of free storage to start (not as much as other alternatives). However, unlike many other online storage solutions, Mozy allows you to encrypt the data you store  to add an extra level of security to that data.  Where Mozy lacks in online storage capabilities, it makes up for in its security features.

4. Sugarsync

Perhaps not as well-known as these other online storage solutions, Sugarsync starts you off with 5GB of free storage. Instead of requiring you to create a folder to store your data, Sugarsync has you sync files, data, and folders, which can be time consuming and lead to file versioning issues.

5. Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) online storage solutions offering content collaboration capabilities available today. Right up front, Google Drive gives you 5GB of free storage.

The problem with Google Drive, however, is that it saves all of your documents as .gdoc files that are web links, which require access to the internet to view, edit, or share them.

6. Skydrive

Skydrive from Microsoft leads all of the online storage solutions with storage size, offering 7GB of free storage to start. Skydrive also differs from the other storage services in that it provides you with editing tools and limited Office applications on its website.

However, like Dropbox and Cloud, you have to save all of your files in a Skydrive folder for them to be backed up/stored online and to be accessible from other devices and/or locations.

Wherever you choose to store your data, whether it be with an online storage service, or a network attached storage (NAS) device, TappIn is one of the most secure ways to remote access that data, from anywhere, at any time, no matter where it is stored.

Have you used any of these services? Which one is your favorite? Which service would you recommend? Which service would you not recommend?

The 3 Main Issues to Consider Before Using Cloud Storage

Researchers are predicting that 3% of all digital content will be stored online by 2016 .  The primary selling point of cloud storage seems to be the peace of mind it gives users.  It’s comforting to know that your photos, videos or other important digital files are nearly instantly backed up online and synced to your computer and safe in case of the unlikely event of a computer meltdown. As such, cloud storage has gained popularity vs. the more “mundane” option of external hard drives or network attached storage solutions. In recent years, most cloud storage providers started providing users with the convenience of on-the-go access to their cloud sync folder from multiple mobile devices.

Storing your stuff in the cloud is definitely a good way to go, but like all technology, cloud storage has its limitations. Here are three issues worth thinking about when you look to use online storage as a way to back up your files.

1. Security & Privacy: Not all cloud storage options are created equal

With the recent booms in BYOD and telecommuting in small to midsize businesses, secure online storage and file sharing solutions are in high demand.  With so many people using the internet to communicate and collaborate with coworkers on a daily basis, often needing to share sensitive information and documents, the need to make those interactions secure and protected is paramount.

Before you choose a cloud storage solution – especially one of the free ones being offered out there – take a close look at the terms of service (TOS) agreement. A few of the leading online storage solutions have led to scrutiny by privacy right advocates wondering who effectively owns users’ data.

All online storage is vulnerable to security breaches from increasingly more sophisticated hackers.  Even market leader Dropbox experienced a securitybreach generating a discussion about the safety of cloud storage for the most sensitive data.

If you must choose cloud storage solution for your sensitive documents, as a general rule we recommend you steer clear of the free ones. Don’t risk the security of your data in order to save money, doing so may actually end up costing you a lot more down the line.

2. Cost of cloud storage: The more you store, the more you pay

As we’ve pointed out in a previous blog post, cloud storage can be costly. The more information you store in the cloud the more expensive it can get.  So saving all of your information online – especially if you are a digital media buff wanting to back-up lots of photos, graphic files, and videos – cloud storage may not be the best solution for you.

3. Access: If it’s not in your sync folder, you’re out of luck

Perhaps the biggest yet least talked-about limitation of most popular online storage and file sharing solutions like Dropbox or SugarSync is the fact that only the information you remember to sync ahead of time will be readily available for remote access once you’re away from your computer.

So what if you haven’t saved all of the data, video, and files that you need in these online storage solutions and you end up being away from your computer?  How can you remotely access your files then?

Unlike the Cloud and Dropbox and other online storage options, TappIn gives you secure, remote access (instead of storage) to their data no matter where it is saved.  With TappIn, you don’t need to plan ahead what photo or music file you may want to access once you leave the house.  You can access it all anytime, from any mobile device.

However, if you (or your employers) still choose to store stuff in the cloud or in other online storage solutions, TappIn is a great complementary solution.  It is compatible with most popular cloud storage options like Dropbox and SugarSync.  So you can access what’s in multiple clouds, even if you forget to sync.

The Business of Data Storage and Sharing

The enterprise data storage landscape is experiencing significant upheaval.  While not all IT departments are making significant changes to their storage models, the insistent push of cloud technology, and the evolving demands of the BYOD (“bring your own device”) trend and its disciples, mean that changes are not matters of if, but when.

While there has been much hand-wringing over cloud solutions and employee-liable devices in the workplace, the time has come to create solutions that will enable the evolution of enterprise storage, rather than trying to quell the tide.

Cloudy BYOD

The most obvious trend driving the evolution of enterprise storage is the cloud, and its advantages are obvious – virtually limitless storage and simplified remote/mobile access to data.

The disadvantages of cloud computing, however, are also significant.  Any time data is transmitted or stored outside the corporate firewall IT relinquishes some degree of control, and there is increased risk of a breach.

The less obvious force bearing down on storage is BYOD, and it is proving to be risky business.
The connection between mobile devices and storage may seem attenuated, but with the rise of personal cloud solutions like Dropbox, the lines are quickly starting to blur.

The fear with BYOD and consumerization IT is that before an IT department knows it, sensitive customer information, personnel files, financial records and strategic planning data may well end up in a cloud repository, completely out of their control.

Clearing Clouds

Despite the significant security implications, enterprises cannot ignore the reality of mobile data access.  Instead, enterprise IT must proactively make decisions about data storage that will both streamline mobile access and protect the most sensitive data.

TappIn by GlobalSCAPE is the most secure, easy-to-use solution for any small businesses’ network-attached storage needs.  This program takes a different approach from cloud services by leaving your content on your computer and not in the cloud, so you retain control of your content on your machine and you control who sees it.

You get all the benefits of mobile data access – anytime anywhere without the risk of storing your content in the cloud.  Businesses large and small have been using similar solutions for remote access – namely SSL VPNs – for some time now.

It provides a much greater measure of control over who can access your data and on what terms, something that is especially critical to businesses in an era when most employees are bringing their own web devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) into the workplace.

4 Things You Need To Know About Using Cloud Storage for Your Business

Things You Need To Know About Cloud Storage for Your BusinessUsing services like Dropbox and Google Drive to store sensitive customer information, personnel files, financial data, and strategic planning data, does come with a few risks.

Unlike storing photos and music files or even business data such as marketing materials, collateral, etc. security is paramount when storing sensitive data.

Here are 4 things you should know about before using cloud storage for your business:

#1 Most cloud services aren’t going to claim an ownership interest in your data but…

Their privacy policies require you give them permission to access your data in order to control it.  Also if their security is breached, someone else might very well steal and use sensitive information.

#2 Your data is only as secure as the personal cloud vendor makes it.

The reality is that anytime you store data in a cloud storage solution, you hand over a large degree of control over that data.

Data moving from repository to repository could be at risk if it is not properly encrypted while in transmission.  The security of whatever repository it is ultimately stored in matters as well.  It’s important to know where these services are located and hosted from to make sure they have to and do comply with US laws.

As the Dropbox security breach last summer showed, these systems are not infallible.  The fact that the data is sitting in an archive doesn’t matter if you suddenly don’t need a password or other credentials to get into that archive.

#3 BYOD has proved to be a significant security challenge for businesses over the past five years.

Any time you move corporate data outside the firewall, be it tax records, financial info, or client data, you are giving some control over how that data is transmitted and stored, as well as who can access, copy, and delete information.

When you (knowingly or unknowingly) allow your employees to store enterprise data in a personal cloud solution, you give up even the right to make procurement decisions.  With these services, you give up control over data security in particular.

#4 Personal cloud is on the brink of being the next major consumerization of IT issue

As employees have taken control of their own mobility with the BYOD trend, it seems inevitable that they would seek to control how they accessed data remotely and via their mobile device, and personal cloud vendors are enabling this demand.

The risks with BYOD now aren’t just that employees are bringing security threats into the enterprise network, but that employees are exposing corporate data outside the firewall.

Bottom line, individuals need to be aware of how they use these services, and businesses need to recognize that, just as with BYOD, it’s only a matter of time before they enter the business environment.

The time to start planning is now, learn how TappIn is the best solution to access and share sensitive data anytime, anywhere

BRAG ALERT! GlobalSCAPE was recently named a “champion” and “exemplary performer” in both security strength and ad-hoc file transfer capabilities for TappIn (formerly HomePipe) and GlobalSCAPE’s EFT Server Enterprise products.

TappIn gives you fast access to all your content from any mobile device without paying for cloud storage.  Get a 30 Day Risk Free Trial Now!