Cloud Computing – Things to Consider Before Switching

The previous year saw the incredible popularity of buzzwords like SaaS (software as a service), Cloud Computing and utility computing. Recent surveys show growth of cloud computing usage from around 31% to 46%. But is it really safe to shift from traditional computing to cloud computing? Let us find out.

Safety and security of data is the biggest concern for any company. History has it that even the most secure databases were hacked by cyber criminals and this is one of the reasons that companies providing cloud computing services put safety and security of data as their primary concern. But there are a few industry-standard security topics to consider before outsourcing data and capabilities to cloud servers. Some of them are:

Privileged user access: If you choose to outsource computing data to cloud servers, we are bypassing the physical, logical and personnel controls over it. All the data stored outside your infrastructure can be accessed by administrators who have access to cloud servers. This can be a threat as administrators hired by another organization have full control over your data and they can manipulate at will.

Regulatory Compliance: The security and integrity of data of clients lie in their own hands, even in the presence of service providers. Security certifications as well as external audits have to be dealt by most service providers. Any service provider who refuses to undergo these audits is only signaling customers to use them for most trivial functions only.

Location of Data: when your data is stored in cloud you might not be aware of the location of your own data. Customers run the risk of being governed by country laws pertaining to the data location.

Although cloud computing is a relatively new technology and there are numerous security issues which need to be taken care of, they can be minimized if you follow the tips given below:

1) 1) Cloud service providers should be strict about hiring administrators, and the type of data they handle. Only privileged administrators should be given access to control-sensitive data. Service provider must be able to answer questions like “Who all will have access to the data?”, “How will you monitor people accessing your data?” or “How does one control access to their own Cloud data?”.

2) 2) Data in the cloud rests in a shared environment along with data from other users. Encryption is one of the methods to secure data in shared environment. But only tested and reliable encryption algorithms should be implemented.

3) 3) Although cloud computing has a distributed database implementation, disasters do happen. Cloud service providers must provide you having a recovery solution for data backup.

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