If you are an active participant in the world of technology, you have likely heard the term “cloud computing.” Cloud computing is the practice of using remote servers accessed over the Internet to store, process, and manage data, instead of using local servers. Cloud computing is a vastly growing practice. Predictions estimate the worldwide public cloud services market will grow 18% in 2017 to $246.8 billion. There are many benefits to cloud computing such as flexibility, efficiency, and strategic value. However, there are several vulnerabilities associated with cloud computing.
One of the main vulnerabilities cloud computing has is reliability and availability of service. Your data is remote, so if your cloud service provider’s servers go down, your company will have no access to your data and will have no control over your data until your service provider restores service. Anything from a general power outage to a denial-of-service (DoS) attack could bring your cloud service provider’s servers down. Another vulnerability of cloud computing is data protection and portability. Your business is entrusting your data to one company who may outsource a portion of their cloud infrastructure. If your cloud service provider or one of their partners were to go out of business, they may not provide a service to migrate your data to another provider, resulting in the loss of data.
Some cloud service providers have insecure Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that hackers can take advantage of to gain access to information. Your company’s information is remote so there is also the possibility that your account that is associated with your cloud service provider could get hacked. Since your data is stored in a public cloud, your data is also vulnerable to a data breach. Other virtual machines running on your cloud service providers can be unsecure, allowing cyber criminals to gain access to your information. This is especially concerning if your company stores sensitive information in the cloud.
COMPASS best practice tips
- Make sure you create robust and unique passwords for accounts associated with your cloud service provider and enable 2-factor authentication.
- Do extensive due diligence before selecting a cloud service provider.
- Backup data in multiple locations in-case your cloud service provider loses data.
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