One of the key benefits of keeping your company’s information in the cloud is that it’s available whenever and wherever you need it. In the hunt for a Cloud Service provider that meets your needs, having the ability to remotely access your information probably tops the list. But as a recent outage in the public cloud illustrates, that’s not always a service you can expect from the public cloud.

The public cloud is vulnerable
On Jan. 10, users of one of the Internet’s most popular public cloud providers experienced firsthand the risks of keeping your information in the public sphere. At 6:40 p.m. the site reported that it was down. Although it claimed that the outage was a result of a problem during “routine internal maintenance,” hacking group Anonymous would later take credit for the attack, according to The Wall Street Journal.

But while the origin of the outage wasn’t clear, its impact was immediately apparent, with many users complaining that they couldn’t access their files. The site took more than 48 hours to report that it was “now up and running” after the outage. Users experienced myriad problems while the service was down, including the inability to share photos and difficulties syncing their files from the desktop. Roughly 24 hours into the outage, the site released a statement apologizing for the service disruption and thanking users for their patience. But some users’ patience was waning.

According to VentureBeat, the outage was enough to scare some users off, for fear that their data was no longer safe. Particularly concerning to these users was what they perceived as the site’s lack of communication as it worked to rectify the outage.

Hacking ground
For businesses needing safety in the cloud, the enterprise cloud provides a secure alternative to the unreliability of a public cloud service that place your data in the public sphere. Indeed, the recent outage is nothing new for public cloud giants, which have experienced spamming and hacks in the past. In July 2012, hackers broke into the same site and extracted privileged user information including usernames and passwords. The effects of that breach were felt for a long time, with users getting inundated with residual spam mail months after the attack. As with the recent outage, the site reached out to users and promised they were investigating, but users still felt a lack of security.

Using the public cloud comes with inherent security concerns. Because the public cloud centers on shared access, users face vulnerabilities every time they upload data.

Industry expert Charles Weaver told Top Tech News that if an outage similar to Dropbox had happened on the private cloud, its customers would have fared better.

“When private cloud providers have outages, their customers usually have a better sense of accountability about what their cloud provider is doing and who is managing their data,” Weaver said. “Not so with public cloud.”

To ensure that your data is never in jeopardy, check out the enterprise cloud today.