Few would disagree that cloud services present a significant opportunity for organizations of all sizes to transform their IT capabilities. Whether it’s migrating existing applications to run on an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform, or adopting a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering like Office365, Google Cloud, or Salesforce.com, the “cloud” offers a multitude of attractive alternatives that allow organizations to transfer a great deal of IT management responsibility to the provider, often at a reduced total cost of ownership.
However, adopting cloud services brings a new and different set of challenges. Integrating cloud-based services into your existing IT service delivery model can be difficult. Also, while cloud vendors assume responsibility for a number of security considerations, many customers fail to understand the responsibilities that they retain. For example, cloud services are inherently exposed to the internet, and as a result customers should ensure that extra measures such as two-factor authentication are taken to protect user accounts from compromise.
Also, not all cloud providers implement equally effective security practices. While the largest providers are likely to have more resources to focus on security than anyone but the biggest enterprises, some of the niche SaaS providers may be in no better position than you are to ensure your data is protected.
Finally, while the convenience and simplicity of acquiring cloud services is one of their primary attractions, it also is one of the primary sources of risk. Unless clear policies are established to govern cloud service usage within your organization, the potential exists for sensitive data to be placed in the cloud without appropriate organizational knowledge or approval. Such unsanctioned cloud adoption carries the risks of possible contractual or regulatory compliance issues, potential data compromises resulting from poorly secured accounts, and hidden IT costs buried on departmental credit card statements.
If you are considering a move to the cloud, make sure you understand the risks. Final Dot can help you assess the cloud services available to you and ensure they are a good match for your organization.