Moving to the cloud is a big step. It takes the “physical” part of storage out of the equation. Unfortunately that means it is fully out of your hands and there is very little you can do when things go wrong. While the benefits outway the dangers it is like Benjamin Disraeli said, “prepare for the worst but hope for the best”.
Loss of Data
Perhaps the biggest danger is the loss of valuable corporate or personal data on the cloud due to hackers, service outages, or a variety of other reasons. This can be mitigated by doing occasional digital and hardcopy back ups of vital data. In the event that it is compromised you can recover your data with the aid of a company or technician who is trained to do so. However, most cloud storage systems do have built in periodic backups.
Giving someone access to a file stored on the cloud means that you create situations where they could potentially share that login information with someone else. While this isn’t particularly an issue with in-house employees it can be something of an issue when utilizing 3rd parties like freelancers or allowing friends/family members access to files stored on a cloud. Some cloud storage services like Google Drive have the ability to adjust who can view something on the fly while others simply provide an FTP address or other sort of server-side login credentials that can be difficult and cumbersome to change.
Once It’s Out There…
The issue with digital files in general is that they can always be duplicated. While this is true, there are many methods to allow for single use and non-duplicating documents. You have to be aware that, unlike a ink-on-paper report, if something gets out there you can’t take it back. If you have a leak, it’s better to just admit it and do damage control that to seek to suppress it. You can’t ever outrun the voracious consumption and dissemination engine that is the internet.
Picking the Right One
There are lots of cloud storage options out there and there are more coming along every day. Most have hard data caps on the total storage size they offer you and many have monthly fees. However, there are a number of free options like the aforementioned Google Drive but also services like Dropbox, and even Amazon CloudDrive. If you want something more specialized like an SVN repository for code or something more secure you will need to seek out that specific solution yourself or even develop it in-house if it is truly a custom job.