What are the Security Risks of Cloud Computing
No technology comes without certain risks, especially when it comes to data. Security of personal data and information are the biggest concerns of the users/enterprises in the domain of the cloud computing tech that has seen a rise in its usage over the years. Therefore, it’s necessary to have knowledge about the security risks before medium to large-sized companies shift all their sensitive/confidential data to cloud servers.
1- Losing complete control over information:
Opting for a cloud service automatically means that your CSP (cloud service provider) can access the information. So, you lose complete control because someone else will now be handling your data. Therefore, you must employ certain protocols in place to ensure transparency. Network-based monitoring or cloud security configuration system monitoring may help institutes maintain better checks and balances.
2- Data loss:
One of the biggest threats is losing data in cloud computing. You could lose data due to breaching the data agreement, malware, deletion of the data due to mishandling, server getting corrupted, or data getting lost during the transferring process.
Data breaches have caused multiple organizations great damage over the years, especially tarnishing their organization’s confidentiality. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Alibaba are prime examples of data scraping breaches where millions of users’ names, photos, phone numbers, home addresses, emails, geolocation, etc., were compromised.
While FaceBook hid the news from users for more than a year before it made it public in 2021, LinkedIn refused to admit that the harm was big enough for them to take responsibility. In contrast, Alibaba caught on with the issue and reported it to Police.
The same goes for unexpected malware and corruption incidents resulting in data loss, financial damages, and waste of workforce and time utilized in assessing and transferring the data from in-house IT management to a third-party service provider.
Another instance is AMAG Pharmaceuticals, which lost its employee data due to the folder not syncing with Google drive. So, your data not syncing is another issue that may cause data loss.
3- Incomplete Data Deletion:
There’s no way of confirming if the data is completely deleted and removed from a cloud platform. Due to the limited visibility, the users can’t tell where exactly all of their data is stored in physical form in the cloud. The data could be scattered all over the server depending on the cloud service provider’s infrastructure. So, this poses a threat to an enterprise’s confidentiality, given if their data remain undeleted, it could allow hackers a chance to steal it. Organizations that utilize various cloud platforms may face this type of risk.
4- Too much dependence on the CSP causes Vendor lock-in:
Suppose an establishment wants to move all its data/files and assets from its current CSP to another vendor. In that case, too much dependence may make them halt their plans and realize how rigorous the whole process could be, including the timing factor that plays a big role in the transfer process. Not to mention the high costs that are required to move. Also, some institutes use proprietary tools offered by their CSPs, which create reliance for most of their processes on those services and APIs. So, shifting becomes a huge challenge.
5- The complexity of managing cloud models for the IT team could create security gaps:
When a company decides to employ a cloud service for more storage and scalability, it must consider many factors, like assessing the CSPs’ policies and protocols, including the staff’s efficiency in learning new and complex models. The IT team must be able to handle the encryption services and monitoring of the platform. Plus, the technology and processes of every CSP differ from another, which creates more difficulties, especially if an enterprise was using some other vendor and decided to shift.
So, if the IT management fails to keep up with the system’s complexity, this could create security gaps and danger for the company’s data.
Cloud computing is very beneficial given the world’s current needs and demands in technology. With the need to store the ever-expanding data of billions of users now, it is impossible to make room for so much storage without the help of tech like cloud computing.
However, as we discussed, no tech comes without risks, and there are solutions that you can implement to eliminate the dangers and threats before jumping into the world of the cloud. Proper research and strategic planning, assessing all the pros and cons, and how the technology may benefit you positively would be important conversations for IT personnel of an organization.