The ICT Lounge
Section 8.11:
Issues related to security of data in the cloud

'The cloud' is what we refer to storing data on the internet.

When we store data in the cloud, we can access it with any device as long as we have an internet connection.

Although very useful, storing data the cloud poses a number of security risks which we will discuss in this section.

Key Concepts of this section:
Understand what the cloud is.
Know what the cloud is used for.
Be able to describe the security issues of storing data in the cloud.

Storing data in the cloud
Key Words:
Cloud, Streaming, Remote storage, Security
What is the cloud?
Cloud computing is where users store their documents, programs and data on the Internet rather than on their own computers.

Cloud computing allows users to store and access documents and programs from the Internet.
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There are lots of online sites that allow you to stream music and listen to it on a computing device.
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Google docs allows you to use online programs to create a range of documents. These documents are stored and accessed (remotely) on the Internet.
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If the building where your online data is stored is not physically secure, it is at risk of being accessed and stolen.
Online storage companies sometimes go out of business.
You have no control if the online storage company backs up your data or not.
As long as the user has access to an Internet connection, they can create, edit, and share ICT files from almost any location.

Because the data and programs are stored remotely, on the Internet, the user will save space on their computer's storage devices.

Some uses of the cloud:
The cloud is becoming very popular and has many uses. Some of these are described in the table below:

Streaming music
Streaming music is where users play the audio directly from the internet server where it is stored.

The music file is not downloaded onto the user's computer.

Popular streaming music sites include:

Google Docs
Google docs offers users the ability to use free software such as spreadsheets, word processors, presentation builders and drawing programs.

This software is stored on the internet (in the Cloud) so users don't have to install it to their computers.

Any projects that users create with Google Docs are also stored in the cloud.

You can try Google Docs by clicking on the link below:

Online storage
You can store your documents and files in the cloud.

This frees up space on your computer and allows you to access the files anywhere and anytime (if you have an internet connection).

Most online storage providers give between 2GB and 15GB of free storage space.

Popular online storage providers include:

The security risks of storing data in the cloud:
Storing data in the cloud is not without risks.

When you store data in the cloud, you are trusting that the online storage company have adequate security to keep your data safe.

The table below explains some of these risks:

Your data is stored remotely and not on your own computer. This means you have no control over the physical security of the data:
  • How secure is the building where your data is stored?
  • Can someone easily break into the building and access your data?
If the online storage company go out of business, what will happen to your data?

(There is a chance that you could lose it all!)
If the online storage company don't have adequate online security, your data could be at risk of hackers stealing it.

(Does the cloud company encrypt your data?)
If the online data storage company doesn't back-up your data, you could lose it in the event of power cuts or fires etc.

Some videos:
Here are some links to videos that contain more information about storing data in the cloud :



Click the above task and answer the questions about storing data in the cloud.


Please add your questions/comments below:

Links to Theory Units:
Links to Practical Units:
Section 11: File Management
Section 12: Images
Section 13: layout
Section 14: Styles
Section 15: Proofing
Section 16: Graphs and Charts
Section 17: Document Production
Section 18: Data Manipulation
Section 19: Presentations
Section 20: Data Analysis
Section 21: Website Authoring