Which is More Vulnerable: Offline Storage or Online Storage?
Updated October 6, 2023
Data security is massively important. Whether you’re talking about your personal financial records and email or whether you’re talking about the data security of a Fortune 500 company, the need is the same. Your data needs to be protected from those who shouldn’t see it.
There’s another aspect to data vulnerability, beyond security. Your data doesn’t do you any good if you can’t access it. Data that becomes corrupted is useless to you. Your data needs to be safe from becoming corrupted or inaccessible when you need it.
There are essentially two data storage models you can choose: offline storage and online storage. Each has its pros and cons. It’s worth taking a look at the vulnerabilities of each type of storage so you can make an informed decision about which is right for you or for your business.
Offline Storage Vulnerabilities
Offline storage is a broad bucket into which we can put a number of technologies. This would include storage on your local hard drive, a tape backup, DVDs, a network attached storage device, and more.
The primary vulnerability in these storage solutions – and it is a big one – is that they all have a single point of failure. A DVD can easily be scratched. A single power surge can knock out a storage server for good. A tape backup can be lost. If a building burns to the ground, every one of these storage options fails you.
Between them, some are more secure than others. A RAID file server, for example, is much more secure than a USB drive. If you want to use offline storage, it’s a matter of choosing the option that offers the greatest possible security that still fits in your budget.
Online Storage Vulnerabilities
Online storage mitigates some of the risk that comes with data storage. Because online storage providers typically have redundant physical systems located in different cities, there is no longer a single point of failure. One lightning strike won’t take out your data.
The obvious vulnerability from online storage, of course, comes from the fact that you’re accessing it over a public network (the Internet). Today’s online storage providers use the latest in encryption technology to keep your data safe, but there is always the possibility (however small) that your data could be hacked. It’s extremely rare, and to date none of the major online storage providers have been hacked.
The type of data you want to store, how much of it there is, and how you need to access it will determine, to a large degree, whether online storage is right for you.
Author:- Eric Greenwood is a self-professed tech nerd. You can find more of his articles located at OnlineStorage.org.