A lot have been said about the benefits of cloud computing. Almost everyone is jumping on the band wagon. Here are the perceived benefits.
1) Negligible costs. - Resources in the cloud is shared among many users. This lowers the cost dramatically. For instance, an application that may require thousands of dollars to setup on a dedicated server may be hosted on a cloud for just a fraction of the cost.
2) Faster loading speed. - As the information can be stored in multiple locations, a web visitor can request for data from a location that is nearest to him or her. This speeds up data loading and makes cloud computing an attractive solution to many application providers.
3) Better security. - Many people think that cloud computing is more secure. Obviously, this perception is arguable.
Is cloud computing really a secure solution? What are the security risks involved?
1) Too early to tell. - Cloud computing is still relatively new. Many Chief Technology Officers (CTO) are not sure about the problems and risks associated with the cloud.
2) Shard environment. - Cloud means sharing of resources. That means data and information are stored in servers that may be accessed by other users. That may present some risks.
3) No infallible system. - Although the giants will tell you that their cloud system is highly secure and unlikely to get hacked into, there still remains a chance that it will fall. Why? Because it remains a simple fact that no system is 100% secure.
4) Valuable data attracts the wrong people. - The more valuable the data on the cloud, the more likely it will attract the wrong type of people. Hackers will do anything within their power to get into the system because they know that there is valuable data hosted on the computers. And because it is a cloud system, that means there is A LOT of data and information stored in the cloud. This makes the entire cloud a perfect target for those who wish to create mischief.
So does that mean one shouldn't use cloud computing yet?
To be on the safe side, here are some recommended practices.
1) Choose what to store on the cloud. - A cloud can be used to store scripts to enable faster loading. Since no sensitive data is stored, you enjoy the benefits of the cloud without having to worry about security issues.
2) Ask about monitoring systems. - All cloud systems need to be monitored so that trouble makers can be caught in real time. This will help prevent loss of data.
3) Monitor all updates. - Updates can give rise to new security issues that are not there before. So every time there are major updates, be more vigilant. Run tests on your own to ensure that your own data is safe.