According to data from the analysis firm, Forrester, the global cloud computing industry is expected to grow to nearly $191 billion by 2020, up from just $91 billion last year. Even though the cost of storage is halving every year, demand is racing ahead, and the industry continues to grow in overall size. Driving this is the sheer utility of the service, allowing companies to get access to cheap software that would usually have cost them a fortune, as well as affording them the opportunity to make multiple copies of their critical data.
However, with the rise of security issues surrounding the cloud, many companies are holding back on their adoption, despite the benefits. The Ponemon Institute recently did a survey encompassing more than 400 IT leaders asking them how exactly companies were using the cloud. The study uncovered some specific risks that business leaders face in this time of technological transition. Here’s what they had to say.
Risk #1: Theft Of Intellectual Property
Because the cloud is so convenient, more and more companies are using it to store their sensitive data. According to analysis firm Skyhigh, around 21 percent of all files uploaded to the cloud contain some type of data that the company would not want to be shared. Of course, the problem is that when a cloud service is breached, all those data are suddenly made available to criminals who can then
Risk #2: Government Regulation
Governments are very keen to make sure that companies keep their customer data secure, even as they seek more surveillance powers themselves. As a result, private companies are subject to a range of regulations, like HIPAA for healthcare and FERPA for college student records. These rules stipulate the companies need to know where their data are, who can access them and the ways in which their data are being protected. According to some experts, BYOD can violate these tenets, putting some companies in breach of the law.
Risk #3: Loss Of Control Of End User Actions
Businesses who use the cloud can often be in the dark about who is using their cloud services and to what end. Most of the time, this is benign. But sometimes, it can lead to serious consequences. For instance, a disgruntled employee could access the cloud network, sabotage it and bring the business to its knees.
It is possible to reduce system downtime with DRaaS by Infrascale, but it requires some preparation beforehand. When the cloud is accessible by all, it can be subject to abuse.
Risk #4: Targeted Malware Infections
During their research, Skyhigh found a number of data extraction techniques being used by hackers to gain access to cloud systems. These involve using YouTube videos as a vehicle to encode sensitive company data. A similar technique has been used on various Twitter accounts. The evidence suggests that this is a way that hackers publicly share information about a company’s cloud network and then share this information so that they can better organize phishing attacks.