Security and privacy in the Cloud
Security is the biggest concern when it comes to cloud computing. By leveraging a remote cloud based infrastructure, a company essentially gives away private data and information, things that might be sensitive and confidential. It is then up to the cloud service provider to manage, protect and retain them, thus the provider’s reliability is very critical. A company’s existence might be put in jeopardy, so all possible alternatives should be explored before a decision. On the same note, even end users might feel uncomfortable surrendering their data to a third party.
Similarly, privacy in the cloud is another huge issue. Companies and users have to trust their cloud service vendors that they will protect their data from unauthorized users. The various stories of data loss and password leakage in the media does not help to reassure some of the most concerned users.
Dependency and vendor lock-in
One of the major disadvantages of cloud computing is the implicit dependency on the provider. This is what the industry calls “vendor lock-in” since it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to migrate from a provider once you have rolled with him. If a user wishes to switch to some other provider, then it can be really painful and cumbersome to transfer huge data from the old provider to the new one. This is another reason why you should carefully and thoroughly contemplate all options when picking a vendor.
Technical Difficulties and Downtime
Certainly the smaller business will enjoy not having to deal with the daily technical issues and will prefer handing those to an established IT company, however you should keep in mind that all systems might face dysfunctions from time to time. Outage and downtime is possible even to the best cloud service providers, as the past has shown.
Additionally, you should remember that the whole setup is dependent on internet access, thus any network or connectivity problems will render the setup useless. As a minor detail, also keep in mind that it might take several minutes for the cloud to detect a server fault and launch a new instance from an image snapshot.
Limited control and flexibility
Since the applications and services run on remote, third party virtual environments, companies and users have limited control over the function and execution of the hardware and software. Moreover, since remote software is being used, it usually lacks the features of an application running locally.
Related to the security and privacy mentioned before, note that cloud based solutions are exposed on the public internet and are thus a more vulnerable target for malicious users and hackers. Nothing on the Internet is completely secure and even the biggest players suffer from serious attacks and security breaches. Due to the interdependency of the system, If there is a compromise one one of the machines that data is stored, there might be a leakage of personal information to the world.
Require a constant Internet Connection
Cloud computing is impossible without Internet connection. To access any applications and documents you need a constant Internet connection.
Require High Speed Internet connection
Similarly, a low-speed Internet connection makes cloud computing painful at best and often impossible. Web based apps often require a lot of bandwidth to download, as need to download large documents.
Stored Data Might Not Be Secure
With cloud computing, all your data is stored in the cloud. That’s all well and good, but how secure is the cloud? Can’t unauthorized users gain access to your confidential data?
Despite its disadvantages and the fact that it is still in an infant age, cloud computing remains strong and has great potential for the future. Its user base grows constantly and more big players are attracted to it, offering better and more fine tuned services and solutions. We can only hope that the advantages will further grow and the disadvantages will be mitigated, since cloud computing seems to have made IT a little bit easier. Happy cloud computing!