Friday, August 17, 2012

Does Cloud Computing Hold Security Risks?

No matter what business you walk into, there will be some measure of security when it comes to their systems. Whether it is individual user identification for logging into systems and having certain privileges, or certain passwords to access particular programs, there will have been some measure taken to restrict access.

The Cloud
In recent years, cloud computing has emerged as a popular innovation and a great platform for businesses. The biggest benefit from a business point of view has been the reduction of both short and long-term costs associated with data storage. Cloud computing has allowed businesses to begin storing data online, at a much cheaper cost than they were previously paying for hard disk space and servers, which could then potentially slow down computer systems and make the workforce less productive.
Of course, for everything that brings a benefit, there are dangers that are associated with it, especially when platforms are relatively new, as is the case with cloud computing.

The biggest risk with cloud computing is unquestionably security. Unless cloud storage is set up to only be accessible from specific ports or through an intranet, for example, any business employee could access their work information at home or even during a night out with friends.
I am sure that the thought of an employee sharing business information with their friends and anyone else within earshot over a few drinks would send a shiver down the spine of most managers. Yes, people discuss work in their social lives, but do they always pull out their phone to prove a point, unwittingly revealing confidential business information? This is a distinct possibility and one which has seen human resources employee’s furiously rewriting “Communications in the Public Domain” guidelines for employees to follow.

Tracing Difficulties
One of the common problems businesses face when everyone is privy to a password, as is the case in many instances, is that if something goes wrong there is no real way to find out who was responsible. Cloud computing solves this problem only if businesses assign each individual employee an access name and password. Unless this is done then security will be further compromised.

Public Networks
Perhaps the biggest problem with cloud computing and storage is that, because it is designed to be used on the go, professionals everywhere are potentially connecting to public Wi-Fi networks without knowing who else is on the network and what they are potentially doing. This could easily lead to business’ information being placed into the public domain, as well as increase the possibility of a business or individual becoming a victim of fraud.

Posterita is an inventory management system that allows chain stores and single stores to manage every aspect of their operations via an easy-to-use web-based platform.

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