Many business practices change over time, but few have the potential to radically alter how we live and work. Cloud computing is one innovation that’s not only here to...
In today’s tech-powered marketplace, companies need options in order to stay on top of computer and IT trends. Whether it’s in the form of data collection, storage, security, or infrastructure needs, managing these quickly fast-pieces can be tricky.
Cloud computing helps to address some of these challenges by offering flexible, on-demand services to meet a variety of software needs. Although cloud computing is practical and modern, it does introduce certain security risks.
In this post we’ll take a closer look at what cloud computing is, how to address known security risks, and how to prepare for your organization’s cloud needs.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the process of delivering standard and traditional computing services over the internet. Traditional systems such as computer storage, databases, networks, intelligence hubs, and other systems are monitored and maintained in the cloud versus through an on-site or physical space.
At MircoTech Systems, one of the questions we often receive from clients is, “How reliable is cloud computing?”
The reliability of cloud computing often depends on factors that you can actually control, which should bring peace of mind. Reliability comes in the form of factors like–
- Reputable and trustworthy service providers
- Reliable IT management structure
- Secure data storage solutions
- Fast and safe responses to security incidents
How Does Cloud Computing Work?
Primarily, cloud computing works by transmitting information over a secure internet connection. For cloud computing to work effectively, information (in the form of data) must be able to travel back and forth from one computer system to another.
Because cloud computing takes place over the world wide web, important information such as files, drives, applications, and analytics can be accessed from users all around the world. This accessibility and uptime provides greater flexibility, especially to businesses.
Although the cloud is decentralized (meaning that data isn’t usually stored on-site), businesses can benefit from hosting service providers that manage the cloud’s infrastructure and maintenance on their behalf.
When to Use Cloud Computing
Cloud computing can and should be used in any circumstance in which greater flexibility, access, or storage is needed. This is a popular option for–
- Dispersed corporate businesses
- Remote work models
- Public or shared communication channels
- Social technology (related to sources of entertainment)
- “Big data”
As cloud computing grows in size and popularity, more individual and personal use cases will continue to appear. This growth implies that average users will come to expect the flexibility and ease of use associated with cloud computing.
Main Risks of Cloud Computing
Even though cloud computing seems to be the way of the future, there are several risks and vulnerabilities that it can expose. Many of these risks are the result of poor planning or failure to act on known cybersecurity information and best practices.
Below are a few common cloud computing risks that you should be aware of, no matter what stage you’re at in your cloud computing journey.
- Reduced level of direct data control – Cloud computing puts another organization in charge of your data, which underscores the need to hire or use the right provider
- Risk of unauthorized use – Greater flexibility means a higher number of unauthorized access attempts by threat actors and cybercriminals
- Gaps in credentials – As more companies migrate to remote models, verifying appropriate credentials is more important than ever
- Loss of data – When operating in the cloud, there is always a chance that vital data could be lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised
How to Address Cloud Computing Risks
There are certain steps you can take to ensure that the cloud computing risks you face are relatively low and manageable.
If you’re a business that serves customers (or regularly collects consumer data), always prioritize the protection of that data as part of your holistic cloud computing strategy.
To minimize cloud computing security risks, take the following steps.
- Only hire or use a reputable cloud computing service provider with known experience
- Stay active and informed in your company’s cloud computing agreements
- Provide in-depth employee training to anyone working from cloud-based systems
- Adopt a comprehensive access and security policy (particularly around credentials)
- Be transparent with data storage protocols
- Regularly reassess cloud computing policies to stay up-to-date with current trends, threats, and mitigation strategies
Does Your Company Need Cloud Computing?
Recent data shows that enterprise companies are moving quickly to cloud-based models, either through hybrid or multi-cloud strategies. In fact, up to 70% of enterprise companies plan to increase their cloud computing budgets over the next two to three years.
As you consider whether your company could benefit from cloud computing, it’s important to weigh potential costs, resources, and growth goals. Cloud services are proven to help you expand your growth potential, increase communication, and stay current with industry-specific software solutions.
Adopting a cloud-based business model is one way to stay competitive in a crowded marketplace. Yet having the resources and skill to respond to cloud computing risks is another factor entirely.
As a Boise tech company or small business, we know how valuable it is to have a local connection for your cloud computing needs and questions. We encourage you to reach out today to MicroTech Systems for an evaluation and overview of our reliable cloud computing services.