The Danger of Engaging in Cloud Computing

By on February 22nd, 2013 at 12:27 AM | Misc.

Cloud Computing Dangers

Cloud computing has been taking the world by storm and many enterprises are seeing benefits from this type of computing compared to in-house systems. Because of the cloud’s scalability and flexibility, companies of any size can have a cloud computing system to suit their needs. While this is true, many are still not convinced as they consider that cloud computing offers many risks. In this article, we will talk about the dangers of engaging in cloud computing.

1. Clients have no right to check the cloud provider’s activities.

As a client, once you are subscribed to a cloud computing vendor, you would not have to check updates of software or apps on the cloud. You also don’t need to perform manual backups for maintenance. All these tasks will be taken care of by the supplier.

However, the danger in this is that you won’t also have the authorization to audit the activities of the provider by default today. Unless you requested this to be part of your contract agreement, you would not have access to the controls of the environment as the policy and right to audit solely belongs to the vendor.

2. There are outstanding concerns related to security.

Although experts in cloud computing have assured that they have made protocols and firewalls necessary to prevent hackers from getting to the information of the client, these privacy concerns persist. Everything uploaded and existing on the web still has the chance of getting nabbed by unknown online thieves when the clients expose their data to the public cloud. The risks are reduced when they decide to have the system only in private.

Most clients are now also informed on the ways on how to encrypt data before moving them to the cloud. But they have to check if their server is in the corporate site or another unrelated location to the cloud server because if the setting is with the latter, the purpose would just be defeated.

3. Penetration testing is not allowed.

Another thing by default that may pose danger to cloud computing users is that cloud computing vendors do not allow scanning of their cloud provider’s infrastructure. This act is called penetration testing which is required by most security policies. Even if the cloud service supplier agrees to have this activated and approves client to go through penetration testing, this might harm their system when not correctly performed by clients. Providing this function can disrupt the whole network.

As of the record, only Amazon and Google and other large cloud providers let their customers conduct the scans for their equipment and services. When not allowed, clients are only given a report generated by the third party scanning service from the vendor. This is to somehow build the trust and present an equivalent test result.

4. You are not sure how vendors dispose your data.

When you end a particular project and think that you won’t be needing the data and files made for it anymore, you would request for data disposal on the cloud. To work on this, vendors would have to securely dispose the data that are requested to be terminated. You should receive a proof of any form stating that they have erased everything. The danger is that you cannot be too sure if they are doing it right or are hiding the data from your end. It is possible for them to make use of the data and sell these information and files to another party, without your knowledge.

5. You are not sure how cloud providers protect your data in cases of emergencies such as natural disasters.

Because data on the cloud is thought to be safe whenever there are physical calamities going on, this issue on data protection is overlooked by most clients. You have to be guaranteed that vendors will take responsibility in creating a comprehensive plan for securing the site and your data during these times of trouble.

Cloud services may bring lots of benefits in terms of simplicity, costs and adaptability. But do note these dangers before sealing the deal with a cloud computing service provider. Keep your eyes open and be alerted with these negative risks and stay safe.

Author: Vanessa Parks

Vanessa Parks is a Freelance Systems Analyst with 5 Years of solid experience. She has been an advocate of cloud computing and collaboration for improved work efficiency and performance. She also has a passion in dancing, cooking and playing golf.

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