With the rise of advanced technologies and changes taking place in IT, organizations are forced to adapt to trends with a view to meet their customer expectations and give them the best result for their business. Over the past few decades, IT has evolved at a fast rate, right from Mainframes to PCs to LAN/WAN, and then one of the greatest evolution ever – the Internet. The Internet has not just been a driving force for communication, but also has been the key behind the emergence of advanced technological concepts like Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing – which was earlier considered as a next-big concept is now taking up the IT market at a great pace. Internet has enabled this on-demand access to benefit organizations to lower down their infrastructure cost by helping them in focussing on core business instead of spending time and money on infrastructure.
Apart from infrastructure cost there are many reasons which led to the rise of Cloud Computing. Some of which are: multi-tenancy (sharing across large number of users), high computing power, scalability, manageability, availability and low-cost services.
Organizations have been using Cloud in the form of different service models such as SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, along with different deployment models such as Public, Private and Hybrid. The growth of Cloud Computing is happening at such a rapid pace that the IT market is experiencing 50% growth rate every year in Cloud Adoption. Gartner says by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be same as today’s “no-internet” policy, and companies shifting to Cloud will affect more than $1 trillion in IT Spending. Considering the fact that many companies are moving towards Cloud Adoption and thinking of “cloud-first” to stay in the radar, there will soon be a time when many companies will opt for “Cloud-only” policy as primary means to stay in business.
However, this doesn’t mean that all companies will be forced to adopt Cloud, irrespective of whether their business demands it or not. There will be possibilities of some data and applications to be locked in other technologies. While organizations are gaining trust over Cloud for its efficiency, there is a major security risk in it.
Although security has been improved a lot with data stored centrally, there has been a certain risk persisting on loss of control over sensitive data. Due to multi-tenancy, sharing of data with large pool of unconnected users has led the business into major risk. Ever since the rise of Cloud, there have been many data breaches taking place all across the globe. Some of the recent security breaches are:
- In mid-2016, Verizon Communications Enterprise Solutions were hit by a data breach which ended up for sale of 1.5 million customers’ information online. Later, investigation suggested that a security flaw had led the attacker obtain basic contact information on a number of their enterprise customers.
- One of the major and well-planned cyber-attacks took place in December 2015, when attackers hacked and took control of the industrial control systems of three regional firms in Ukraine, which then later resulted in power blackout.
- Recently, the rise of new malware called “Ransomware” had disrupted many organizations including hospitals, leading them into significant financial losses. Sensitive information beyond repair and exposing data for breach. This malware has the ability to gain access to the victim’s computer and victim can later access the computer, only if the demanded amount is paid.
In terms of Cloud statistics, data breaches and data loss are some of the major concerns which act as a barrier for Cloud adoption. Also, privacy concern had been increased with the data control in the hands of Cloud providers, who can alter or share the information for the purpose of law and order. With centralized storage of data, hackers can try various ways to penetrate the Cloud.
Considering these concerns, should an organization hold back from adopting Cloud for their business, or move further to adopt Cloud and take security precautions? Well, there is no point in holding back as change is inevitable, and staying where you are won’t help your organization. In a recent survey, the Cloud Security Alliance has mentioned that as data leaves the company Data Center and goes to the Cloud, the organization is caught between delivering products/services in the business, and securing sensitive data against rapidly increasing threats. With the world changing fast, it will be the fast beating the slow, and not the big beating the small. Hence, organizations need to start taking measures for Cloud security, along with the process of Cloud Adoption.
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