What Are the Risks of Cloud Computing?

The cloud services risks to be aware of

Cloud computing has now emerged to become one of the best methods for companies wanting to revamp and enhance their IT infrastructures. However, there are certain issues and problems associated with cloud computing. Needless to say, it is very advantageous for everyone to adapt to new technology, but it is also wise to recognize some of the risks associated with this technology, so as to avoid the possibility of future issues. Here, we bring you information on the risks associated with cloud computing, along with suggestions on how to deal with the same.

Illustration of a computer connected to the cloud
sorbetto / iStock

Generally speaking, most cloud computing service providers are already familiar with the issues involved and can deal with them right at the beginning. This makes the process more or less safe for you. But it also implies that you make wise decisions while choosing your service provider. You need to clarify all your doubts and issues with your provider before choosing them.

Security in the Cloud

Security is one of the most major issues in cloud computing. Being entirely based on the Internet makes it vulnerable to hack attacks. But logically speaking, all the modern IT systems today are invariably connected to the Internet. Hence, the level of vulnerability here is much the same as everywhere else. Of course, the fact that cloud computing is a distributed network also makes it easier for companies to quickly recover from such attacks.

What you need to do to minimize the problem is to study and examine your provider’s security policies, before going ahead and signing a contract with them.

Cloud Compatibility Issues

Yet another issue with the cloud is compatibility with all the IT systems in a company. It is universally acknowledged today that cloud computing works out to be the most cost-effective option for companies. However, the problem arises out of the fact that the company would have to replace much of its existing IT infrastructures in order to make the system compatible with the cloud.

One simple solution to this problem is to use the hybrid cloud, which is capable of addressing most of these compatibility issues.

Compliance of the Cloud

Much of a company's data, which is supposedly “off the cloud”, is essentially stored on multiple servers, sometimes spanning across several countries. This means that if a certain center develops an issue and cannot be accessed, it might pose a serious problem for the company involved. This problem would intensify if the data is stored in a server of a different country.

This being a potential issue, companies need to discuss it with their providers much in advance of beginning work on cloud computing. The company needs to clarify if the provider can totally guarantee service availability even during periods of bandwidth interruption and similar other issues.

Standardizing Cloud Technology

A very real problem associated with cloud computing is the present lack of standardization in the system. Since no proper standards for cloud computing are set yet, it becomes almost impossible for a company to ascertain the quality of services they have been provided with.

In order to avoid this potential trap, the company needs to find out if the provider uses standardized technology. In case the company is not satisfied with the quality of services rendered, it can change the provider without having to incur additional costs for the same. However, this point too has to be clarified by the company in its initial contract.

Monitoring While on the Cloud

Once a company hands over cloud computing responsibility to a service provider, all the data would be handled by the latter. This could create a monitoring issue for the company, especially if the proper processes are not set in place.

Such a problem can be resolved by resorting to end-to-end monitoring over the cloud.