Cloud Computing Security Risks You Should Be Aware Of

Cloud Computing Security Risks

Cloud computing security risks are a very real thing unfortunately, despite the fact that proponents of cloud computing infrastructures will cite the vastly improved security the model offers. Does this make them liars? Not hardly, it just means that as with anything in life, nothing is perfect, and there can never be impenetrable security systems with no risks at all. Nothing is ever completely safe from all deviant behavior or calamitous intent, and this is likely forever going to be the case no matter how fantastic our technology becomes in the future.

But, what cloud computing security risks are there, and how dire are they? Can we do anything to thwart or at least mitigate these risks? Are they severe enough to make cloud computing potentially unwise to adopt, at least for now? These are valid questions, but let’s simmer down a bit. Don’t panic!

Most of the security risks with cloud computing are internal to a company, rather than that of external threats (a la “information thieves” or “hackers”), and in most cases, it’s not a situation of deliberate malign. With cloud computing, where things can go wrong is usually accidents or lack of user end fool proofing to blame for security mishaps than anything else.

What do we mean by this? Well, consider that cloud computing and the SaaS model go hand in hand, obviously. With SaaS, multiple accounts or accesses of a service within a company will often be the same primary account with sub accounts contained within. Everyone accesses this same primary from different locations. This is usually helpful in a lot of ways, but here’s where this can go awry. Permissions not being set right for proper accounts within the primary, combined with honest human errors or confusion, can lead to things being broken, deleted, tampered with or downright destroyed during a crunch when people are rushed.

To thwart this, or at least reduce the risk, it is best to always review who has what permissions, and be sure that everyone logs out of their sub accounts from stations when finished working there, so that accidents like this do not happen. Believe it or not, this is the greatest security risk with cloud architecture. Not all security risks are due to bad eggs.

However, another big concern is in knowing how reputable a cloud host is. There have been cases where cloud hosts sell user statistics or even personal data to third parties and advertisers. This is in fact illegal in ninety percent of the world, but that doesn’t stop less than reputable companies from behaving less than reputably. This is a case of listening to what other users say, as well as reviewers, about a company. Read blogs, read information and pay attention to relevant news pertaining to these fields. Be sure that the company you are choosing is veracious.

As you can see, there aren’t nearly as many cloud computing security risks as there are with traditional models. Once, there was the threat of signal spying, but TKIP encryption has seen an end to that, so really, it’s all in fool proofing your accounts and choosing an ethical company.

Omri Erel
Omri is the Head of Demand Generation, as well as the Lead Author & Editor of the SaaSAddict Blog. Omri established the SaaSAddict blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to SaaS and cloud migration.
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