There is no doubt that cloud computing is appealing for both small and large companies and organizations. They provide the ability to use any Internet service while reducing costs associated with start-ups, lower the capital expenditures, the ability to utilize pay on the go services, use applications when they are needed, and have the ability to increase or reduce capacities. The downfall of this method, however, is that all of the benefits are wrought with a wide array of potential security problems.
If you opt to use cloud computing for your business or organization, it is important to know the challenging topics that affect the security of this method. For example, some of the most common security risks you will encounter include privacy protection, ownership of data, mobility of data, bandwidth costs, support, protection of data and the quality of the available service levels.
[Read: Top 10 Best Free Cloud Storage]
Privileged User Access: One of the major security risks with cloud computing is the fact that your confidential information and data will be accessible for non-employees. Anyone can access this information, putting your company at potential risk. To avoid this problem you should ensure you receive specific details about the oversight of those who have access to this to ensure your private information, remains private.
Data Location: If you opt for cloud computing, you may not know where your data is actually being stored. The servers may be located in the U.S., Canada, or even Malaysia. Additionally, your data may be stored in a combination of all three locations. To protect your information and data you should insist upon a contract commitment that will ensure the cloud computing service is adhering to all of the privacy laws of each of the jurisdictions where your data is located.
Data Segregation: This is an important, and often overlooked security issue of cloud computing. While your data is SSL protected during its travels, during the time it is in storage, the data may share a virtual space with other company’s information. You need to ensure that your cloud computing service provides data segregation from the other organizations or business’s that are also using the service. While most hosts have an extensive explanation of the protection that is used, you have to remember that if the data being stored can be read by your provider; it probably will be, jeopardizing confidential information.
[Read: Top 5 Cheapest Cloud Storage]
Long Term Viability: You also must consider the long term viability of the company you choose for cloud computing. Are they likely to be acquired by another company, or go likely to go “belly-up?” What are their provisions in instances of these problems? How will your data be returned so that you can begin using another service for cloud computing? If they do not have an outlined plan, the security potential of your data is at high risk.
Recovery: What are the service provider’s plans if you have a local problem, or one that affects the entire world? While this is unthinkable, you should ensure that your cloud computing service has set up provisions for situations such as this. An essential part of any service is the ability to restore what has been lost and to do so in a timely manner.
If you are still concerned with the security of a provided cloud, you can always establish a private one. However, this method takes much more time, effort and funds to be successful. Ensuring you know the risks of cloud computing can help you ask the right questions when choosing a service provider.
About the Author: Nordisk Systems, Inc. offers IT solutions that meet the challenges of Healthcare organizations by combining responsive service with powerful brands such as IBM, HIMSS, Oracle, and HIMSS in Oregon, many others providing a single point of contact for IT solutions.