Cloud platforms are an undeniably useful service, especially to companies. Irrespective of their size, corporations or startups have found a digital ally in the storage and information sharing tools offered by Google, such as the Google Cloud Platform and Cloud Dataproc. Other companies such as HPE Helion, Animoto, AppScale, OpenShift, Protogrid, Sun Cloud or Verizon Enterprise Solutions promote their own cloud platforms.
However, cloud platforms are not without fault and using them is not without risk. Here are five reasons why companies should be wary of relinquishing their valuable files to cloud storing services.
1.Servers and Information Placement
The way cloud computing works is by using multiple server computers linked within a digital network and acting as a single, powerful computer. In Europe, however, strict data privacy regulations stipulate by law that businesses gathering data about French citizens, for example, should store it on a server located in the same country.
As cloud applications place their data centers in multiple countries, this is quite difficult if not impossible for them to do. Similarly, regulation regarding competition might forbid cloud storage devices to place on the same server data on customers activating in the same field. The ambiguous implications of data outsourcing itself are still to be clarified.
Regardless of the selling pitches of cloud storage vendors, their servers are not inexpugnable digital fortresses. Data breaches or hacker attacks that go beyond encryption can expose any kind of data, from trade secrets to personal financial information. When such a leak occurs, the damage caused by the exposed or corrupted data can be doubled by that suffered by the company brand in front of its customers.
3.User Level Corruption
Cloud storage platforms and devices give full access to the company’s data to a multitude of employees, managers, overseers and others. By mistake or by design, through intentional action or the pervasive actions of malware, files can be tampered with, corrupted, deleted, lost or accidentally made public.
The only solution to these situations is minimizing and segregating employee access to the data. For example, when logging in to the Verizon cloud, you must be protected by multiple layers of account recognition and protection. However, these measures damage the communication and teamwork within a company.
Denial of Service (DoS) attacks are technically different than hacking, as they simply make a server unavailable for a period of time. However, this can be particularly damaging for companies with a time-sensitive schedule. Periods of inactivity and downtime can thus lead to a sharp drop in the company performance and subsequently, profit. Even a slowing down of the server can be harmful to your activity.
Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are viruses that infiltrate a server in order to quietly steal data over a larger period of time. Coming out of compromised third-party networks, direct attacks or USB drives preloaded with malware, they blend in with other data clusters are therefore hard to detect. With shared files, cloud storage devices also entail share dangers to your company.
Despite their many services and uses, cloud platforms are not without fault. It follows that giving your company’s files over to them is not without risk. Care is advisable with every action related to the cloud storage platforms.