Companies of all sizes have turned to cloud computing systems in recent years in order to create a more effective and efficient work environment. In a recent post, the concept of what cloud computing services are and what services they deliver was discussed. To recap, cloud computing refers to the ability for companies to store and access both data and programs over the Internet. These services are provided by a third party supplier and means that a company can access their files on any devices, from anywhere and at anytime.
However, those companies who are considering taking on a cloud computing service provider for the first time are often concerned about how secure their data will be and what risks are involved with cloud computing. The two main concerns that companies have are the loss of control over data and the level of dependence being placed on the provider.
So, what are the risks of cloud computing?
One of the main fears for companies using a cloud computing service provider is whether their data is truly safe and in trusted hands. Some companies feel that there is a lack of transparency for cloud computing users surrounding just how their data is being handled. This could make a company question as to whether their data is being compromised or not. Many companies feel that this gives them a loss of control over their data, which makes them unsure of the service.
Data loss may also occur. A cloud service provider’s system may go down for a number of different, unexpected reasons and at any time. Therefore, this puts your data at great risk if there are no data backups created. Most cloud service providers will have a data recovery system in place in the event of this happening but it still remains one of the risks and concerns that companies have when taking on this service.
Another risk of this service includes a data breach in the event of hacking. Most hackers usually want the most information for the least effort. This means that they are more likely to attack the center of a cloud computing service in order to access the whole information database. If in the case that a hacker does break through the security walls of a cloud service provider, it is possible that sensitive company data will be accessed. If your cloud computing service requires a password to access your data, ensure that the password is difficult and change it often to reduce the chances of hackings.
Considerations to keep in mind
All services that are conducted over the Cloud include a number of risks due to the nature of the Internet and technology. However, this doesn’t mean that it should turn you off the service altogether. The majority of cloud service providers have measures in place that will prevent your data from being compromised or harmed against all the risks outlined above.
The most important considerations to keep in mind while choosing a cloud service provider are:
- Ensure that the cloud service provider has a good reputation and solid security policies. If you are to trust them with your data, make sure that they have all the necessary prevention measures in place.
- Choose a cloud service provider that is able to provide the storage size that you will need for your files.
- Ask the cloud service provider whether your data will be encrypted or not. If it won’t, this will mean that anyone with high-level access to that server could gain access to your files.
- Be sure to understand your options if the cloud provider does get hacked. The service provider should require you to sign their terms and conditions, which will outline what will happen in the event of a hack occurring.
- Always choose a secure password and never reuse a password from another medium such as email etc. This will give added protection to your data and files.
- Make sure that the cloud service provider will allow you to back up data in the case of an unexpected loss.
- Ask what disaster recovery systems the cloud service provider has in place
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