Cloud Computing what are the risks?
Cloud is a current buzz word, and it is well named since it “clouds” understanding for businesses of the inherent risks and problems associated with this service. Do you want give someone full control of your business? Then sign up for Cloud.
Cloud computing draws on existing technologies and approaches, giving you the option to Host your information on an outsourced system that is maintained by a third-party. This should give you access to your data at all times – not just whilst in the office. This is the theory but what are the Risks?
- Security: You have no control over your business assets (data!). Data files are a primary company asset containing valuable customer information. A security model for Cloud computing is yet to be developed. The actual physical location of hardware and software is unknown. Site inspections and audits are difficult.
- Dependency: You are handing over control of your data and information. It means dependence on a third-party to ensure the security and confidentiality of your data and information.You are tied to the financial health of another company. If your Cloud provider disappears, where does your information go?
- Hidden Costs: Are in abundance;compliancy regulations, backup, restore, disaster recovery, Internet costs, not to mention problem solving.
- Decreased flexibility: Special customization is not possible resulting in a potential loss of business IT innovation, since technological pace is dictated solely by the Cloud provider.
- Knowledge: No or little insight into a Cloud provider’s contingency procedures, particularly backup, restore and disaster recovery. Measurement of resource usage and end user activities lies in the hands of the Cloud provider. Clear understanding with reference to SLA’s (uptime) promised by Cloud providers is essential. Be aware of the current lack of standards when using or implementing Cloud computing. Failure to comply with certain audits. No easy migration to another Cloud provider.
- Peripherals integration: (bulk) printers and local security IT equipment (e.g. access systems) are difficult to integrate, as are (personal) USB devices, smart phones, etc.
- Availability: Low-speed Internet connection and broadband issues can make Cloud computing painful. Web-based apps require significant bandwidth to download, as do large documents. In other words, Cloud computing can be slow, even on a fast connection, web-based applications can be slower than accessing a similar software program on your desktop PC. Everything about the program, from the interface to the current document, has to be sent back and forth from your computer to the computers in the Cloud. Usage of Cloud computing is impossible if you cannot connect to the Internet. Can you afford the loss of valuable work time?
The processes needed within Cloud providers and the IT technology deployed by them is growing towards a landscape of extreme complexity. The Cloud computing model is not the future; this technology has been readily available for a number of years. Are you really prepared to take the risk?