Cloud computing has been one of the most important technological advancements of the past decade. So integral it has been, that a lot of businesses are incapable of operating without the cloud. Its necessity has been made all the clearer as a lot of companies have shifted to a work from home model due to the pandemic.
However, while benefits in using cloud computing such as reduced costs for IT infrastructure which allows staff to concentrate on the business’s core objectives are clear, the risks that come with it are not so. With more and more companies transitioning to cloud computing it has never been more important to assess whether the benefits of cloud computing still outweigh the risks associated with it.
To do this, however, will require us to accept these risks and recognize what they really are.
How Secure is the Cloud?
Many (including myself) have attested to the security benefits of the cloud. Leaving the responsibility of securing your information to those specializing in security, is significantly a better strategy than doing it yourself after all.
The cloud is however not infallible. In fact, in many ways, the security threats facing today’s traditional data centre environments overlap with those of a cloud computing environment.
Moreover, while the majority of the responsibility for securing the cloud is in the hands of the cloud service provider, the organization still has an important role to play. It is thus important for one to understand the ins and outs of this relationship to ensure cloud security.
Overall, however, cybercriminals use the same tricks they use in hacking traditional security infrastructure to crack the cloud; they take advantage of vulnerabilities in software.
Here are some areas that you should be aware of when switching to the cloud.
Moving the organization’s assets and workloads is certainly freeing and cost-effective but it does forfeit some visibility into network operations. As the cloud service provider assumes a bigger role in managing the systems and policies, the organization is less able to monitor its network infrastructure in real-time. This can be a real security risk as the organization is less capable of detecting a possible ‘hack’
Studies show that about 90% of organizations are more likely to experience data breaches as cloud usage increases. Malware is the central threat to these attacks.
When moving large amounts of data to the internet-connected cloud environment these organizations are opening themselves up to malware attacks.
3. Loss of Data
In case of an attack, organizations risk letting their information fall into the wrong hands. As reliance on the cloud increases businesses will increasingly secede more control to their CSR. This means that when an attack occurs the information will fall to someone outside your IT department. If the cloud service provider experiences a breach or attack, your organization will not only lose its data and intellectual property but will also be held responsible for any resulting damages.
Cloud Transition Is By and Large Worth the Risks
All things considered; cloud computing is still worth the risk if you factor in the huge benefits it provides. Not only does a cloud transition reduce capital investment but it also frees employees to focus on the core objectives of the business thus boosting their productivity. Not to mention the organization will remain agile and also be able to scale easily.
The risks outlined above are solely dependent on the cloud service provider and the sort of relationship they have with their customers.
While many might prefer the bigwigs of cloud computing i.e. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Alibaba, there is also a good argument for smaller client-specific providers like YouCloud.
Large co-operations such as Google and Microsoft make them a target for cyberattacks so it might be wise to choose a provider outside the ‘big five’ as they are sometimes called.
In conclusion, the benefits of cloud computing speak for themselves. The risks associated however need to be mitigated but this is largely dependent on the client provider you choose.