The world of business, commerce, and finances has become digital, keeping pace with the explosive rise of personal computers (PC), local area network (LAN), and most of all, the omnipresent Internet. But the Internet is useful for more than Web searches or social media; in recent years, cloud services have transformed personal and business data storage and transport, and with a solid Internet connection, anyone can make use of this new development.
The Basics of Cloud
Data storage in computers now takes several forms. Traditional routes include storing data and files onto a PC’s hard drive or onto external devices such as external hard drives, floppy disks (in times past), and flash drives. Data can also be sent by e-mail or in a local access network, but cloud has emerged as the latest word in data transfer and storage. It is entirely Internet-based, and a user can upload data and files from a computer onto servers and computers elsewhere, placing it all in the vast network of the cloud. Different cloud providers exist, from Chromebook to Amazon Web Services, and transfer from one cloud service to another is possible. To keep all this sensitive data safe, firewall specialists may be required.
Cloud is quickly becoming a major force for business data transfer and storage. Of all companies surveyed, 82% stated that moving their data transfer work to the cloud has saved them monthly expenses, and as of 2013, 60% of businesses used the cloud for IT-related work. The business of selling cloud-related hardware and software is huge: the enterprise network equipment market is expected to reach $30.6 billion by the year 2020, mainly due to rising bandwidth requirements as well as a general shift toward wireless systems. Cisco Meraki-brand products, for example, had an installed base of 160,000 by the end of 2016, and Meraki sales became huge around the world: two million devices of that brand had been installed worldwide, with Meraki experts assisting customers and Meraki support available for anyone with questions or comments. Other brands, too, are looking into the cloud business, and there is a ravenous market for it.
Internet security, or cyber-security, is always an issue, and that includes the cloud. Companies and businesses have a lot of sensitive data to handle, from financial reports to passwords and account numbers and client names, and without firewall specialists, cyber-criminals such as hackers or computer virus makers can attack. Firewall specialists can be hired at a company to keep the data safe as it is transferred to and from cloud services, and firewall consultants can also lend their expertise to any company in need. In fact, up to 80% of IT budgets are dedicated to routine maintenance, and that includes security. Firewall specialists are the main line of defense against crippling online theft, either from a rival company or individuals looking to exploit weak firewalls and company information. Whenever a new technology comes along, there will be those who exploit it for personal gain, and a company using the power of the cloud can rest easy when firewall specialists set up their defenses.