Cloud security has grown in popularity over the years, and its influence will keep growing as more organizations start to realize the need for using the service. According to the IDC, by 2020, the spending on cloud computing is expected to increase at about six times the rate of IT spending. The promise of a cheap and safe way to store large data is the primary driver of this growth. Just like any other technological innovation, there is a growing skepticism surrounding the use of cloud security, and its future seems to have a few reasons for worry.
The rise of Cloud Computing
Technology has evolved today to a point where companies and businesses work with a large amount of data. Of course, these businesses would need to store their large data, and getting the necessary infrastructure is very tedious and expensive. Hence, the need for cloud security services that offer companies a cheap way to store their data safely.
Remotely storing applications and data rather than on your premise mean you don’t have to invest in the facilities needed so that you can invest in other areas of your business. This has particularly helped new as well as small companies, and has given them a better chance at competing with their bigger counterparts. Cloud computing security helps speed up your operations, making it easier for you to cater for and satisfy your customers.
A survey carried out by Forbes indicated that 52 percent of enterprises were cloud first, a percentage that will rise to 77 percent in two years. Also, a survey conducted by McKinsey’s IT-as-a-Service Cloud and Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure indicated that more midsized and large enterprises would move their workloads to the cloud. All these show that the steady rise seen in the use of cloud computing is going to continue for some time yet.
Cloud Security Poses a Challenge
One of the major selling points of cloud security is the fact that it removes the need for any complex operations to store and use large data. It however still poses a bit of a challenge to businesses subscribed to the service.
Some of these challenges include:
Cloud security is reliant on internet access, making your business entirely dependent upon your internet connection. Also, cloud services experience outages sometimes, which is evident in the 7-hour extended outage of the Apple iCloud in 2015. This could be a problem for you if your business can’t function in the event of an outage.
Cost of Customization
You may be wondering why the cost is listed as a challenge. Well, although it reduces the need for large capital investment, customizing the service to your preference adds to the cost considerably.
Inflexibility is still an issue for some cloud service vendors. These vendors aren’t flexible regarding data formats, ease of data transfer and conversion and so on. Ensure that you research on the flexibility of a vendor before you commit to their services.
Notable Lapses of Security in the Cloud
Although the cloud promises a cheap and secure storage option for your data, there are still some significant lapses in the service. Some of these security issues include.
A data breach could result from inadequate security practices, application vulnerabilities, human error or a targeted attack. It could involve information like financial information, personal health information, trade secrets and other kinds of information not meant for public access. A data breach could happen to any company, which is evident in the data breach experienced by the IRS in 2015.
This means the existence of bugs that attackers can exploit to infiltrate the system. These vulnerabilities put all the data stored at risk, which has been made worse with the introduction of multi-tenancy in cloud computing. Systems from different companies are allowed access to shared resources and memory, giving attackers another attack surface.
Insecure APIs and Interfaces
Cloud providers offer their customers a range of APIs that customers use for managing and interacting with the services. The availability and security of the cloud services are dependent on the security of these APIs. Unfortunately, some of the APIs are not secure, which is even worse when the client company has used the API has a base for its application. The vulnerability will then transfer to the client’s application.
We should be worried about the future
Although cloud computing has grown exponentially in recent years, only about 10 percent of the world’s data is stored in the cloud, so we are going to see even more companies adopt the service. According to IDC, about 67 percent of enterprise software and infrastructure will be cloud-based, so you can expect it to become mainstream in a few years.
This increase means that more companies are relying on the security promised by the cloud for their business success. The multi-tenancy feature of the cloud that gives systems from various companies access to shared resources and memory increases the level of vulnerability of these systems.
The potential overreliance of businesses in cloud security in a few years means many business operations will be determined by the reliability of their cloud service providers. In case of any prolonged outage, businesses won’t be able to continue their normal activities.
Cloud security is an excellent innovation that has revolutionized data handling and processing. Midsized and small-sized businesses are the biggest beneficiaries because it allows them to store and use large data without having to spend a fortune on the required facilities. Although this service is beneficial, if you don’t do due diligence on the provider you are committing to, you may be exposing your company to a data breach.