Public clouds are powerful but dangerous tools. Used incorrectly, public clouds expose enterprises to risks of data loss and legal and regulatory liabilities.
But smart management makes it possible to get the benefits of public clouds while minimizing risks, and that's the subject of the latest Big Report from Internet Evolution: Look Out! The Biggest Dangers of Public Clouds.
As enterprises move to adopt public clouds, they may enjoy increased efficiencies, cost savings, and streamlined business processes. However, they also face risks.
The cloud presents its own security challenges. The multiplicity of components in the cloud environment presents a big attack surface. And the ease of access from a variety of devices and locations -- one of the great benefits of the cloud -- creates a proliferation of points from which an attacker can breach the network.
And enterprises run into problems when they allow business managers to set up their own cloud agreements -- so-called "rogue clouds" -- without the blessing of IT. Business managers go rogue because they want immediate cloud benefits, but IT needs to move slowly and deliberately to find solutions that are secure, stable, and comply with regulations.
Other problems arise during contract contract negotiations. Companies run into problems when they fail to negotiate favorable pricing, terms of data access, and service level agreements with their cloud service providers. Companies ignore security basics such as access management and encryption.
And enterprises aren't at risk from their own behavior alone. The nature of public clouds means that enterprises are sharing server hardware. In these multi-tenant environments, a single irresponsible organization creates risk for its virtual neighbors. Enterprises need to take steps to ensure their virtual machines are adequately isolated from neighbors and understand how cloud providers are protecting integrity.
Minimizing cloud risks is a tough job -- but it's feasible. And we're here to help with our latest Big Report. Read the sections in order, or just dive in and start anywhere:
Look Out! The Biggest Dangers of Public Clouds
— Mitch Wagner , Editor in Chief, Internet Evolution