Cloud computing can be a great tool for businesses. It stores crucial data and makes accessing data more convenient. Recent studies have found that a typical enterprise uses 1,427 cloud services, with most employees using 36 cloud services, proving that both workers and corporations are finding benefits from using this technology.

Even though it’s widely adopted, there are still some who are unsure about incorporating cloud computing into their business systems. Below is a guide that may help you better understand some of the benefits and risks of adopting this technology.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a computing system that provides on-demand availability and data storage. It has a set of broad services and processes that work together to protect its infrastructure, similar to IT security in data centers. Cloud security – which consists of a set of controls, procedures and technologies – deploys tools to monitor and protect information that is stored within its server farms.

Three Types of Cloud Deployment Options

Public Cloud

This is the most common way cloud computing is deployed. Online storage and servers, in this case, are operated and owned by a third-party provider that allows public access and delivery of cloud services over the internet. When using a public cloud, you are sharing the same resources – storage, hardware and network devices – that other public users are using, making it more vulnerable to cybersecurity issues. Despite this, there are some considerable advantages of using this type of cloud – lower costs and maintenance fees, and a good level of reliability and scalability.

Private Cloud

The private cloud is one that is exclusively used by a single organization or business. Similarly with the public cloud, it can also be hosted by a third-party provider. Businesses may, however, have the option of having the datacenter hosted on-site, physically located within business operations. Private clouds are more secure because both infrastructure – such as hardware and software – and services are maintained within a private network. This allows more room for businesses to customize their cloud systems to suit their specific needs, including limitless scalability and improved security. Government agencies, financial institutions, and mid- to large-scale organizations often opt for this type of cloud. All these better features do come at a higher price, which is why larger data-driven organizations who have the resources to adopt this technology usually don’t hesitate to do so.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid clouds consist of the best of both public and private cloud offerings. It combines both the on-site infrastructure of private clouds with the off-site features of the public clouds. Data can move with ease between private and public clouds with the same customization and security options available to private clouds. This type of cloud is more flexible and cost-effective because some amount of scaling can be accommodated for by the public cloud.

Cloud Computing Risks

As technology evolves, so do the risks associated with its use. The connectivity associated with cloud computing technology makes it more susceptible to cybersecurity risks. The following are some of the common challenges businesses encounter when using the cloud.

Insider Threat

Companies have quality control measures for data access, sharing and security. There are different levels of access given to different employees depending on the data that is required for each position. This helps to limit the spread of confidential data. However, when an employee attempts to gain unauthorized access for negative motives, it can be considered an organizational risk. Insider threats happen when an employee misuses their authority to access cloud-based services to seek sensitive information for harmful reasons.

Data Breaches

Data breaches have been a common issue for years in IT. When an organization is targeted, both the business and its employees are at risk. The two most common type of breaches are the account hijack and insecure APIs.

Account Hijack

Over the years, this has been a growing concern in the IT industry, especially since public cloud platforms give open access to users. This new possibility of widespread access is enticing hackers to manipulate credentials to criminally gain access to accounts and data. One common technique that cyber attackers use to steal credentials is cross-site scripting (XSS). XSS allows attackers to inject client-side scripts into webpages so that when they are viewed, they can bypass access controls.

Insecure APIs

API (Application Programming Interfaces) is a software that allows two applications to communicate with each other. APIs have grown in popularity as programmers improve both application and cloud performance by customizing various features. Since APIs are used for accessibility, authentication and encryption purposes, when they are breached, hackers can gain access to networks and programs connected by the API, causing major security risks to organizations using them.

Data Loss

When an organization experiences data loss, it takes time, money and resources to recover the lost data. Hackers bypass security systems with the intention to delete data, steal information (to later circulate it publicly), or hold the data hostage (until a ransom is paid). Businesses risk losing not only their valuable information but also their reputation and the costs associated with managing the threat.

While it may seem easier to be swayed away by the risks involved with using the cloud, in today’s data-driven world, the benefits of incorporating cloud computing technology into your business process may easily outweigh the risks. Having a secure cybersecurity system to safeguard your data significantly lowers risks provides peace of mind.

Source: YouTube, SenseiEntreprises

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