Cloud computing risks

Cloud computing risks


Cloud computing, or SAAS (software as a service) first started to appear around 10 years ago. Companies, in particular larger corporations did not want datacentres and software problems to be their own problems. They wanted to outsource and basically have IT technology as a utility service, with appropriate service level agreements. As with any outsourcing this allowed business to focus on their own business, and not the technology driving it.


With Cloud computing though comes even more data security issues. Huge data centres have been constructed and ISO standards have had to be adhered to (ISO 27001).  Cloud computing providers store vast amounts of data, from multiple organisations. This makes them a huge target as hackers may enter their network looking for information regarding one company, but actually stumble across information more valuable from another company. Exposing information involving intellectual property, health information and personal financial information are obviously major concerns. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) have warned companies using Cloud operators that when it comes down to it they are responsible for their own data, not the cloud operator themselves. So essentially, if a companies information is exposed it should be put down to poor management decisions when choosing a cloud service provider.


Other threats to cloud based data storage include DOS ( denial of service), broken authentication, hacked interfaces, account hijacking, permanent data loss, malicious insiders or disgruntled employees / contractors….. The list goes on.


Cloud computing has become an enormous part of modern IT, although had many sceptics at the start. The main problem being that it is a shared service and as stated earlier means certain datacentres can be a treasure cave for hackers. The messages from the CSA, to IT directors,  are choose your cloud provider wisely, adhere to their guidelines and don’t think you have offloaded all data risk responsibilities… certainly haven’t!


The cloud