Don't overlook the most important cloud storage feature: Security

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The craze in the world of cloud storage today seems to be rolling out lists of additional features that match the features of every competitor out there, and presenting them as new and improved. Every company strives to be appear as the best possible cloud option on the market by continually adding "new" features right alongside competitors, and in all of the competition it can be a simple mistake to overlook what these features actually mean.

Before you let these lists of newly-added features dazzle you into choosing one specific cloud storage option over another, do a little research into what these features actually do. You might be surprised to find that many aren’t precisely new ideas, and they don’t increase the most important cloud storage aspect of all: secure file storage.

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Are the Features Really New?

Many companies present their brand new updates and additional features as options which can’t be found anywhere else and haven’t been seen before. But if you read between the lines you’ll realize that they are just putting a slightly different and brand-focused spin on an idea that has been around for a while, and probably even available through that same company for some time. It is great to update existing ideas to bring them up to the standards and expectations of today, but they should be represented a bit more honestly. Some of the most popular features that big public cloud storage companies have been rolling out include:

  • Password protection for share links
  • Share links that expire
  • Read only share options
  • Searching for full text
  • View only permission folders

If you look around you will see that these aren’t exactly new ideas, even if they are new to the particular providers who have added them. The new features offered by big name companies like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and others may be what you are looking for, but make sure you are getting them for a fair price and that you aren’t letting the word "new" tempt you into a cloud service that doesn’t have everything you need. Sometimes it’s better to choose a provider that offers less flashy options, but more of the things you need. Many professionals agree that simplicity is best.

Security is Arguably the Most Important Feature of All

Many of these new feature updates are put in place because they are supposed to solve some serious security issues which have had major public cloud storage companies under scrutiny in recent days. The problem with public cloud storage options is that they come with some serious data security risks including:

  • Insecure file sharing
  • Data leaks
  • Vulnerability to hackers
  • Data seizure by government
  • Lack of file control
  • Unknown locations of servers
  • Cloud employee data snooping

The list can continue on with a disturbing number of unknown factors that are simply the nature of handing over your data control and security to another party. New features like expiring share links and folders with permissions certainly help, but they don’t change the fact that your data is being sent outside of your own firewalls and away from your own IT department.

Private Cloud Storage Offers Excellent Security

A private cloud option is becoming increasingly popular with small and medium sized businesses because it can protect the control, ownership, and privacy of your corporate information. Your data is protected by your own firewalls and IT personnel, and you have total control over who can access files and what they can do with them. Solutions like what we offer at ownCloud in particular can offer a private cloud which integrates with your existing system to streamline the process and get you started with cloud storage right away. Lengthy and expensive training for your employees won’t be necessary.

Markus RexWith nearly 20 years of open source experience behind him, Markus Rex founded ownCloud, Inc. with community leader Frank Karlitschek and long-time SUSE colleague Holger Dyroff, determined to bring secure file sync and share to business. Rex is responsible for all day-to-day management, yet never misses a chance to go under the ownCloud hood and tinker with fixes and QA.

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