Disadvantages of cloud computing
Despite its many advantages, cloud computing is not without its issues. You should be aware of these if you're considering moving your business into the cloud.
Cloud security and data
Most cloud service providers implement relevant security standards and industry certifications to ensure that their cloud environment remains safe. However, storing data and business-critical files in virtual data centres can potentially open you up to risks.
Common risks are:
- data loss or theft
- data leakage
- account or service hijacking
- insecure interfaces and APIs
- denial of service attacks
- technology vulnerabilities, especially on shared environments
The levels of data protection and security achieved and maintained by different cloud providers can vary. Choose your provider carefully and make sure that the provider is stable, reliable, reputable and offers reasonable terms and conditions of service.
The cloud, like any other IT set-up, can experience technical problems such as reboots, network outages and downtime. These events can incapacitate business operations and processes, and can be damaging to business.
You should plan for cloud downtime and business continuity. Try to minimise the impact and the number of outages and ensure the maximum level of service availability for your customers and staff.
The cloud service provider owns, manages and monitors the cloud infrastructure. You, as the customer, will have minimal control over it. You will be able to manage the applications, data and services operated on the cloud, but you won't normally have access to key administrative tasks, such as updating and managing firmware or accessing server shell.
In order to mitigate risks, it may help to carry out a risk assessment before you hand over any control to a service provider. Once you have a clear idea of the risks, you will be able to weigh them against the advantages of cloud computing.