cloud-risks

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The following are the top cloud computing risks that we identified:

#1. Unauthorized access to customer and business data while sleeping

Criminals despise working. They may target small business networks because they are easier to breach, but they frequently target larger corporations due to the allure of larger payouts.

Data from thousands of small businesses is aggregated by cloud services. Small businesses believe they are offloading security risks to a larger organization that is better suited to protecting their data.

Each business that uses a cloud service, on the other hand, increases the value of that service as a potential target. This reduces risk to a single point of failure. A cloud provider’s disaster can affect all of its customers.

And it is not only hackers and malware that may target a cloud service provider. Insider threats pose another risk to cloud computing.

When you outsource a service to a third-party server, you must now consider both your own and the vendor’s staff. Because more people have access to the data and systems that support the service, you must trust people you have never met.

When you use a cloud service, you increase your risk of government intrusion. Consider whether Uncle Sam is more likely to snoop on your email server or one used by a hundred companies and maintained by Microsoft.

#2. The vendor’s security risks

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When a cloud service vendor provides a critical service for your business and stores critical data – such as customer payment data and mailing lists – you entrust the vendor with the life of your business.

Consider this: how clean are those hands?

Many small businesses have little knowledge of the people and technology that power the cloud services they use.

They rarely think about:

Employees of the vendor’s character

The vendor’s technology’s security

The vendor’s access to their data

When you rely on a cloud service for a mission-critical task, you place your company’s trust in the hands of others and the quality of their work.

Your reputation is no longer solely dependent on the integrity of your company; it is also dependent on the integrity of the vendor’s company. And this is a risk associated with cloud computing.

Even if you know how many people at a vendor have access to your data, how well do you know each one? Can you put your company’s reputation in their hands?

compliance-and-legal-risks#3.

Do you work in a field that regulates data security? Healthcare, banking, government, and anyone who accepts credit cards are among the industries that are regulated – and the list of regulated industries is growing.

Many data security regulations are designed to protect only one type of data. HIPAA, for example, requires healthcare providers to safeguard patient data. Anyone who accepts credit cards is required by PCI DSS to protect cardholder data.

Companies subject to these regulations are not only required to protect data, but they are also typically required to know about it.

Where the data is stored

Who has permission to use it?

How it is safeguarded

When a company outsources the processing or storage of data that must be protected, it is relying on a cloud service provider to ensure compliance.

If the company lacks adequate legal safeguards, it may be held liable if there is a data breach at the cloud service that exposes the company’s data.

In other words, unless you have a written agreement, a cloud service provider may not be held liable for a breach of your data on its systems. So you delegate the responsibility for data security to a third party, but you remain liable if that party fails to do so.

This is one of the many risks associated with cloud computing. Even if a vendor has your best interests at heart, they will always take precedence over yours.

#4. Risks associated with a lack of control

When you host and manage a service on a local network, you have complete control over the features you use. You have the ability to change the service in the future.

When you use a cloud service provider, however, the vendor has complete control. There is no guarantee that the features you use today will be available at the same price tomorrow. The vendor can raise the price, and if your clients rely on that service, you may be forced to pay.

In addition, who has access to your data in a cloud service? What if you are unable to make a payment?

If you fall behind on your payments, you may be surprised to learn that your data is being held hostage by the vendor. You won’t be able to use the service or export your data until you pay.

And who owns the information?

When you host a service locally, you always have control over the data and the level of service. You can confidently assure your clients that their systems and data are secure because you have constant access to them.

Remember that when you have control over your data, you have many options for protecting it. However, once it is in the hands of a cloud service provider, you have handed over control to a third party over whom you have no control.

#5: Threats to availability

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There is no service that can guarantee 100 percent uptime. When you rely on a cloud service for a mission-critical task, you are putting your company’s survival in the hands of two services: the cloud vendor and your ISP.

If your internet connection fails, your vendor’s cloud service will go down with it. If you require the cloud service to process customer payments or access critical data, you will have to wait until the internet is restored.

Another cloud risk is that the vendor may fail. Anything from bad weather to DDoS attacks to a simple system failure can render the service inoperable.

How much uptime can your cloud provider guarantee? 99.9 percent? That’s fantastic, but consider this statistic….

One percent downtime equals 99 percent uptime. The service will be unavailable for 3.65 days out of 365. That works out to 87.6 hours.

But when are those hours? Is it late at night? During the daytime?

If those 87 hours occurred during business hours, that equates to 10 days of downtime.

Can your client go 10 business days without this service?

Remember, this is only for the cloud service. The client’s internet connection will also be unavailable. If you assume 99 percent uptime and 1 percent downtime, your client could be unable to access the cloud service for up to 20 business days.

Can your client go 20 days without the service?

Your company’s and clients’ reputations are jeopardized.

We’ve talked a lot about the risks of cloud computing, so it’s important to remember what’s at stake.

A data breach involving your or your client’s data can be disastrous, depending on the type of data and the extent of the breach.

The costs of investigating and resolving a breach, as well as the associated legal fees and reputational damage, can be enough to force a company to close its doors.

The risks associated with a cloud service’s availability are less severe, but still harmful.

An outage can range from a minor annoyance to a major disruption that costs the company thousands of dollars, depending on the nature of the service and its importance to your day-to-day operations.

Are the risks associated with cloud computing worth it? It is entirely up to you to make your decision.

Our AccessEnforcer 5.0 is an all-in-one network security and management solution. Our UTM Firewall automatically detects and blocks threats such as hackers, spam, and malware. Network tools ensure that your connections are fast and dependable. Find out more!

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