When the features, benefits, and sheer potential of cloud computing became obvious, many businesses were quick to embrace it and transfer their mission-critical data and services into a virtual location perceived to be infallible.
There were, and continue to be, certain security and reliability considerations, but the overall consensus is that these challenges have been overcome or, at the very least, are unlikely to arise.
There are three cloud services problems that continue to be overlooked, primarily because so many people underestimate the risks they represent.
While ‘security’ is technically a concern from the outset, its definition is surprisingly vague. Security applies on several levels, and not all of them are in full force in all cloud computing environments.
Case in point: a focus on blanket security technologies like encryption cause identity and access management to be regularly overlooked. Complexities should be managed using identities, and there should be a variation on which files or items are authorized to which users.
Properly implemented identity and access management will considerably reduce the risk of a security breach.
Data location can present problems for global operations. This area of law is currently in a state of limbo. Still, the location where information is stored can have far-reaching consequences, such as possession, custody, control, and jurisdiction issues.
Privacy regulators can also get involved. Not everyone realizes that performance compromises need to be made with regionalized data. Even system operations can result in unplanned data transfers that can get information protection authorities involved.
Standards and regulations, such as state privacy laws, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act, require companies and organizations to assess and monitor their data protection protocols. When its data is moved to the cloud, it can impact a company’s ability to comply with any applicable requirements.
Public clouds, for example, can represent a compliance problem because it is difficult to identify the physical location of a company’s information. Not all providers can or will prove that administrative functions are separated and monitored as per certain regulatory requirements. The key is to find one that does.
The Bottom Line
Like every other technology-based service in the marketplace, cloud services have their obvious and not-so-obvious problems.
Predicting possible difficulties when adopting the cloud into a professional environment is important for deploying and getting the most out of a cloud service. Careful research and sufficient planning can address issues enough to acceptably mitigate risk, allowing the cloud to add genuine value to any company.
Have you encountered problems when using cloud services? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.