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The risks of cloud computing (& how to avoid them)

In recent years enterprises have increasingly been turning to the cloud as a way of making the most of their IT budgets. It has many advantages in terms of cost, scalability and go-anywhere access, but using the cloud isn’t without risk. So what are some of the pitfalls to look out for and how can you avoid them?

The risks of cloud computing

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Security Threats

One of the biggest concerns surrounding placing your company’s data in someone else’s hands is security. While cloud providers will offer security controls as part of the package, it’s still the responsibility of a business to protect its own data. It’s therefore important to understand the security on offer and what, if any, additional steps you need to take.

Privacy Issues

Privacy is often linked to security but it raises some issues of its own. These may be linked to the geography of where the data is stored and who has access to it. In some sectors such as finance and healthcare, there may be restrictions on storing information overseas. There’s considerable worry over the pressure governments may be able to exert on service providers to reveal data for example.

Loss of Data

Another major worry is how well your data is being looked after. Companies such as http://www.pc-docs.co.uk/ who offer IT support in Southgate, for example, should ensure that information is backed up and that there are measures in place to cope with system failure. Some business may have additional requirements such as ensuring compliance with regulations, and again, it’s your responsibility to ensure these are met.

Network Disruption

Greater reliance on the cloud goes hand in hand with greater reliance on the internet. Having a reliable service is therefore essential and losing your connection could have a major impact on your business. Increased use of the internet as a business tool also leaves companies open to threats like DDoS attacks, which are on the increase and can prove costly in terms of lost revenue.

System Vulnerabilities

Accessing data and software from the cloud also throws more weight on desktop browsers. If these aren’t kept up to date, they can leave endpoint systems open to vulnerabilities which could lead to a security breach. It’s therefore vital to recognise that the desktop can’t be neglected just because you’ve moved your core systems to the cloud.

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