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Saturday, October 29, 2011

What are some of the risks of Cloud Computing

In other videos I explained what cloud computing is and why it’s useful. In this video, I want to mention some of the risks of cloud computing - - things that could potentially go wrong and affect your organization when you use cloud computing. Of course, if you implement a cloud in your own data center for your organization’s use, then the risks are similar to ones you already have - - security, privacy, disaster recovery, etc.

However, if you are planning to use cloud services provided by a third party, then you need to think of any new risks that may apply to your situation and that’s what I’ll cover.
First, the obvious risks - - security and privacy risks because of not knowing whether the vendor’s cloud is secure, that the staff who manages the facilities are trustworthy, that privacy protections are up to the level required by law.
Second, we have some management and oversight risks - - relating to potential lack of control in figuring out where data is stored and processed and how to get it back, if you change provider. The oversight risk is the possibility that your auditor cannot get access to the cloud provider’s systems to check them out.
Third, there are some technical risks, relating to lack of standard definitions of what a cloud service is, how are fees set, how to move data from one cloud to another, whether you can get reliable performance...
And, finally, a fourth set of risks may be relating to potential foreign laws and regulations that apply to your data because of where the cloud service is located.
Anyway, this is not an exhaustive list, but the point is that you should think what risks apply to you and then manage them, as is the prudent thing to do. Some risks already have mitigation approaches such as putting things in the contract and some have ongoing activities to help business mitigate those risks.
And, even if there is no mitigation for some, you may still decide to accept the risks and forge ahead with cloud computing. After all, that’s how we get the good things in life... by taking risks.

Here are some more things to help you...

Please see my previous post on "What is Cloud Computing" - - there I have a slide presentation on cloud computing that I used when I gave a talk in Seoul, Korea in Nov 2010 and the 30-minute video of the talk as well.

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