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The Three Biggest Risks Of Cloud Computing

The Three Biggest Risks Of Cloud Computing
  • Limited Controls And Understanding

    Limited Controls And Understanding

    While cloud computing has been around for a few years, widespread corporate use is growing at an incredible rate. According to Forrester Research, company spending on cloud computing services amounted to $40.7 billion in 2011 and will reach $241 billion by 2020. The 451 Group’s Market Monitor says spending on cloud computing is growing at an annual rate of 24 percentii. However, while there are many benefits for companies to move their data to the cloud, the risks the service poses to organizations need to be addressed before complete, system-wide adoption.

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    Employees are often seen as the weak link in the chain of security. While the cloud can be an efficient way for workers to access critical information and be more productive, it also poses security challenges since they’re accessing this information wherever they are working, which includes the office, airplane or coffee shop. This makes protecting sensitive corporate data an even bigger hurdle for organizations than ever before. With the push towards consumerisation in organizations, companies don’t always have control on what device this information is being accessed from. It’s important for employers to introduce the proper security controls, including educating staffers on the proper encryption methods to upload data securely into the cloud, mandating the use of privacy screen protectors for devices when downloading information in public, and consenting what information can be authorized where and by whom.

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    The small print of the end user license agreement (EULA) for cloud service providers usually contains information that completely indemnifies the provider from any and all wrong doing and liability. All liability, accountability and responsibility for site usage are assigned to the user through the EULA. The corporate entity has no recourse to recover data or learn of incidents based upon legal wording and requirements in the EULA. In most cases, the EULA provides the user a ‘take it or leave it’ option of using the service stating no fault clauses that fully protect the vendor. Companies are left with the option of not using the service at all, or using the service assuming all risks as if the service was offered as an internal company product.

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