Cloud Computing: Advantages and Security Risks

Cloud computing has been hailed as one of the most important revolutions in the tech world in recent years, what with the many advantages that it affords those who practice it. Citing a report released by the International Data Corporation, Forbes Magazine noted that total worldwide spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate—from almost $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 in 2019. To put that into perspective, that is almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth.

Indeed, our reliance on cloud computing is not about to slowdown. Whether it’s for storing personal files or for managing corporate applications, the cloud is here to stay. But what really makes migrating to cloud computing environments attractive, especially for enterprises?

The Cloud: A Boon to Corporate Computing

The answer to the question is in how traditional corporate data centers are set up. Typically, if an organization wanted to scale and expand, it would have to shell out additional IT resources to develop its on-premises data center. This expansion process can be costly because it requires additional in-house manpower and expertise, because the hardware and software tend to be expensive, and because data centers are essentially energy-guzzling phenomena of modern computing. Furthermore, it’s also going to be very time-consuming because of the potentially hundreds of different software applications that need to be managed and the many data center hardware components that need to be set up.

These days, businesses want to optimize and grow their business without having to struggle with the challenges mentioned above, and this can be achieved through cloud computing. This practice is essentially an internet-based model of computing which enables organizations to outsource their software and hardware requirements to third-party providers.

These specialist providers can host companies’ data behind the scenes, relieving their clients of the pressure to expand their own computing infrastructure. This often leads to positive results, from financial savings and increased efficiency, to employee mobility and the rapid deployment of computing resources, which can be expanded or reduced depending on current requirements.

Managing the Risks of Cloud Computing and Storage

The numerous benefits notwithstanding, many organizations remain reluctant to adopt cloud computing. Security is a major concern, and it becomes more apparent when high-profile network breaches, data leaks, and malware attacks are brought to public attention by media coverage.

Cloud service providers typically rely on encryption to keep customers’ data safe. Both data within the cloud servers and those in transit can be encoded in such a way that only authorized individuals who possess the security keys can gain access to them.

Nevertheless, in the age of modern and dynamic computing environments, security teams often find themselves struggling with the challenges posed by the increasing sophistication of malefactor attacks as well as other issues. Some of the most pressing concerns of organizations include the lack of visibility into their cloud infrastructure, increased risks brought about by the lateral movement of traffic within data centers, and the need to ensure that their current security posture complies with regulations.

These companies must employ robust and reliable network security and compliance tools that will allow them to gain comprehensive visibility over their infrastructure and critical business assets, in addition to giving them the capability to reduce the impact of attacks through best practices like network microsegmentation, firewall orchestration, and application of layered protection at workload level. Such tools must also give organizations the capability to automate their compliance efforts.

With the help of the right security technologies, organizations will be able to optimize their use of their cloud implementations, and be in a better position to face current threats, no matter how sophisticated they may be.