Examining The Risks of Cloud Computing

For many businesses, cloud computing provides an affordable and scalable solution for data management and backup. Different types of cloud computing serve different purposes, but the vast array of services out there provide solutions for all kinds of businesses, no matter how simple or complex.

Along with the convenience of easily being able to store data off-site comes a risk of attack by outside parties. This risk is infrequent, but you want to be prepared and have a plan in place in case an attack does happen. Currently, around 25% of businesses fail to test their disaster recovery procedures.

Below are some of the threats which face the different types of cloud computing services available today.

Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks

In the early (relatively speaking on the Internet) days of cloud computing, these attacks – which flood a web server with so many requests that it becomes extremely slow to respond or is knocked out completely – were considered somewhat rare. However, with the rise of different types of cloud computing and the wide and extremely rapid proliferation of mobile devices, DDoS attacks have become a far more common method used by a rogue operator to shut down an entire site, making them one of the largest security threats facing IT teams today.

Sharing services between providers

Cloud computing as a means of providing infrastructure as a service can vary greatly between the companies providing it. For one provider’s system to securely communicate with another provider’s system, necessary security measures need to be in place. If these systems are sharing resources and applications, threats can potentially be made from one system toward another. In the worst case scenario, any outside threat could have an impact on both systems.

Human error

No matter how well trained or skilled an employee is, negligence and mistakes can occur. This can be a serious security risk all by itself, but becomes compounded when different types of cloud computing are involved. As mentioned above, the explosion in mobile connectivity now means that employees can sign into systems from just about anywhere using their phone, tablet and home computers, potentially opening up security holes that an attacker can exploit.

Data loss and lack of backups

Just because data is getting stored in the cloud doesn’t mean it should not also be backed up in other locations. Storing your information in just one location is never a good idea. Poor data backup practices can make businesses vulnerable to “ransomware” – a threat which locks away data in encrypted files. The only way the company can get their data back is to pay the attacker a fee, and even then, there’s no guarantee the attacker will give it back. With a proper and frequent backup strategy, you know you’ll always have access to your data.


This kind of attack masquerades as a known source, but is, in fact, an attempt to gather sensitive information such as credit card numbers, user names, and passwords. This method has become much more common with the rise of cloud computing. When an attacker gains the login credentials of a given system, it is quite easy for them to do a lot of damage from anywhere they can sign in. It is critical for any company to have strict measures in place to combat phishing as part of its cyber security policy.

Bugs and vulnerabilities

Different types of cloud computing by their nature are not perfect, and bugs crop up all the time, especially if a system is more complex or if multiple vendors are involved. Once an attacker discovers a weakness, they can use that for malicious purposes. As such, it’s critical that bugs are patched and upgrades are performed regularly to minimize the risk as much as possible.

Outweighing the risks with the benefits

While there are some risks to consider when using different types of cloud computing, it’s still an inherently safe way to store data, provided that proper security measures and protocols are followed. In addition, hiring a company that can provide data security management for business can offer peace of mind in providing a powerful backup and storage solution while at the same time reducing the risk of network security threats.