As evolutionary beings, we strive hard to make our days more comfortable, and cloud computing is rapidly becoming an integral part of it. When you post a picture on Instagram, you know that you do not have to save it on your phone any longer because the photos are automatically saved in your Insta-gallery. Have you ever wondered where are the images saved? The answer is the “Cloud”. From checking your bank balance to accessing your mail – cloud computing is as ubiquitous as Oxygen in the air.
Cloud-adoption is the central tenet of today’s IT organisations (as most businesses are switching to their existing applications to cloud-based services). Where in the past, people would run applications on a computer, cloud computing has given us the gift of being able to access files stored in these applications through the internet. With cloud computing in the scenario, gone are the days when you had to waste the memory space on your mobile, laptop or any other devices.
By the end of 2019, cloud computing will be the new normal with 90% business switching to cloud services. If you want to keep pace with your contenders, you too would want to move to the cloud. Before you take the leap, you need to know the answer to one question – Is cloud computing safe?
Like everything else in this world, cloud computing too comes with its share of threats and vulnerabilities. Before you make the big move, you need to consider the potential risks and come up with ideas to thwart the challenges.
Whether you own a website that offers assignment help or run an E-commerce store, here are 6 cloud-related threats that you need to be aware of:
Interrupted internet connection
Having all your important files saved on the cloud could be a problem when you do not have a working internet connection. Downtime is the biggest problem that you might face when you move to cloud computing. An outage of service would mean hours of loss of productivity as your employees will not be able to access any file. Can you really afford that? I don’t think so! And I’ll tell you why? Rewind to 2017, a single outage for a corporate giant like Amazon Web Services had cost a loss of up to 150 million dollars.
Quick Tip: To avoid downtime loss, you could design your services with high availability. Consider multi-region deployments with automated failover so that your business does not have to face could-related difficulties. You could also try to keep a hardcopy backup of the files you need access to so that your work isn’t paused for long.
Breach of security
Your business is bound to have sensitive data that you need to protect from your contenders. However, putting all your data on cloud storage could pose a threat to its security and privacy. Depending entirely on remote cloud-based storage facilities could involve the risk of your information getting outsourced. You must have heard of the several credit card breaches of late wherein the user login credentials had been hacked into. If you do not want to face the same fate as Code Space, you should steer clear from cloud computation, or take measures to avoid such a situation.
Quick Tip: The best way to avoid security failures is by implementing security at every level of the shared responsibility model that you are using. You could use a multi-factor authentication system to counter the problem. Also, do not give access to everyone and keep a log of all those in power to access data from the cloud storage. Give your team a training session on security skills so that they can address immediate privacy concerns in the cloud.
Frequent threats of virus attacks
When it comes to cloud computing, all your data is online. Therefore, a simple virus file can play foul and attack all your records and documents. Cloud malware threats are genuine and you could lose a lot of your business fuel due to it. Take for instance the case of Sony hack where one breached account ended up compromising the security of the company and marred the reputation of the organisation. It just isn’t one application that is going to go down. A malware could take down several applications with it if they are linked to one another.
Quick Tip: Using cloud services such as AWS Inspector and AWS CloudTrail could help you automate compliance controls. You could also use a cloud anti-virus to overcome virus attacks on your storage.
Lack of control over applications
Another major problem that you could be facing with cloud storage is the limitation of control over your data. Although you could have total access to your data at any place and time, the control over the function and execution of services you have could be less when compared to files saved in storage devices. Even though you have control of the deployments and services, control over the back-end infrastructure may be an issue.
Quick Tip: Having a cloud provider partner on board to help with the implementation of cloud services could be of immense help. Before you invest in a cloud computing storage facility, you need to understand the basic level of support that they will provide so that you know exactly what to expect. Several cloud providers offer support above the basic features for an additional cost. So, you might want to consider them.
Differences in vendor platforms
Vendor lock-in refers to the difference that you may face while switching between vendor platforms. During vendor lock-in periods, you could run into several configuration complexities that could equate to a breach of security, and you could again run the risk of valuable data being exposed. Not all cloud services offer improvement in availability and performance. Moreover, if you port your data from a non-cloud infrastructure to a cloud-based storage unit, the chances are high that you may face an irreparable vendor lock-in period.
Quick tip: Before you invest in a cloud vendor, understand what they are selling so that you can stay prepared for lock-in challenges. You could also employ a multi-cloud strategy (although that may increase the operational complexities).
Heavy on your pockets
Going the “Cloud” way could be an expensive affair. Although you may be able to cut down on hardware costs, getting cloud computing for a short period can weigh down on your finances. Moreover, with all the above risks, you surely would not want to spend a lot on something that could put your business to risk. Even if you go for pay-as-you-go cloud services, the overall price tag would end up higher than you expected.
Quick Tip: You could use a pre-paid option if you have a minimum usage. You could also use a flexible cloud service where you have the prerogative to pause the functions when you are not using them. You could also use alerts to track how much you are spending on cloud storage.
Cloud can be a profitable venture for your business only when you know how to deal with the risks it comes with. Now that you are aware of the potential threats and remedies, you can go with detailed insights and make a wise purchase for your business.