New technology replaces old technology. It might not happen immediately, but the trend keeps getting stronger. Laptops are replacing desktop computers because they bring a lot of convenience. Cloud-based storage is replacing local servers and physical storage because of the increased security and space. Even the light bulbs in your office are probably going to be replaced with more energy-efficient, and then smart, light bulbs.
But just like it doesn’t happen immediately, it doesn’t happen completely, either. Most employees have a laptop, but the computer with administrative control over all of your company’s databases and the remaining local storage is a desktop. Touchscreens aren’t replacing physical keyboards, and paper files are still an important part of doing business. The same is just as true for USB drives and cloud storage: everyone’s moving to the cloud, but they’re not getting rid of flash drives yet.
Why do USB drives still have an important?
The trade-off between security and convenience is a constant struggle for every problem, not just cybersecurity. But it’s at the root of data transfer. When you use a USB drive, you’re getting control. No one else can access what is on that drive while you have it. If you add a few security features, you can make the contents password-protected, uneditable, and immovable so nobody can make a copy. This makes it a great tool for transferring password files or legal documents.
It’s also a physical object, which brings its own value in more avenues than security or convenience. Use labeled flash drives as marketing swag at events, job fairs, and introductory materials for new employees. If you’re on a job hunt, carrying around a branded tool with extra portfolio items will come in handy. And if you own your own business, labeling everything with your brand both spreads the word and reduces the risk of loss or theft.
USB drives may never be the optimal file-sharing solution they used to be, but they are an unbeatable backup. They don’t need an Internet connection, you control the document copies, and there are none of the security risks of online storage.
So when should you use the cloud?
Cloud-based servers should be your go-to storage solution for most of your business files. Most of your documents just don’t need the close, physical protection the USB drives provide. Instead, your documents need to be shareable and trackable.
The cloud works best when:
- Documents and projects are in progress. If you’re taking part in a shared project with multiple contributors, then a USB drive isn’t going to be flexible enough. Even if the information is sensitive, the cloud lets you interact and not have to duplicate work. Most cloud services aren’t just in the business of storage, either; they’re in the business of security. That means they have the top cybersecurity resources to keep files protected.
- You have files that need constant internal access. The trade-off is still between security and convenience. But if your employees constantly need to refer to a database or a pool of documents, you can’t restrict access without slowing work to a standstill. Even security settings that prevent duplication aren’t enough when people have long-term access to documents. But you can monitor the access and download list to find potential bad actors.
The cloud is what you need when files are a constant part of your workflow. Turn to a USB drive whenever you have a secure document that your company can’t afford to have copied or dispersed. Also, like with all data decisions, make sure you have a backup of all your data for an emergency. Go to IT Networks Australia Pty Ltd if you want to make sure you have the right online and physical tools for your company.