Copying or transferring confidential business files from an on-site server or computer to a cloud storage provider somewhere on the internet is not an idea most enterprises are particularly comfortable with.
The main reason for the reservations is of course is security: just who else can access those files, and who would be able to?
But many businesses are overcoming these doubts and going ahead and using cloud storage, often starting with free cloud storage. And they are risking their data security in doing so, according to a new survey by Clutch.
The research company estimates that approximately 25 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses “risk data security if they use free cloud storage” and would be well advised to pay for added protection.
“Storing sensitive data in free cloud storage is an ill-advised and irresponsible business practice since necessary security measures are often lacking,” says Clutch.
Nonetheless, the cloud storage services market has been growing at an accelerated rate and is forecast to reach between $75 billion to $150 billion by the first couple of years of the next decade.
Among the leaders in the cloud storage market are Dropbox, Google Drive and Apple iCloud, with Microsoft OneDrive a relatively late arrival.
Most companies offer entry-level storage services for free, with the notable exception of Amazon.
Here is a list of some of the more well-known cloud storage providers, along with estimated numbers of users, as collated and estimated by EM360, where available.
- Apple iCloud – 350 million
- Microsoft OneDrive – 300 million
- Google Drive – 240 million
- Dropbox – 500 million
- Amazon Simple Storage Service – 1 million
- Box – 25 million
These figures are probably out of date and wildly inaccurate, but the list certainly includes most of the leading companies in the market.