Is Privacy Still A Concern In The Cloud?
When dealing with the cloud, data privacy was and still is the primary concern for organizations. The reason primarily being for an organization to use cloud services, they are required to hand over their private internal data to the service provider.
Handing over of private data is something no organization can get too comfortable with, even with the security measures the cloud has to offer. With the number of beneficial services that come with it, the cloud suffers from its share of security issues. It as they say that nothing is ever so perfect.
This article sheds light on major privacy concerns that organizations deal with when storing data on the cloud, and how protective measures can be taken against the threat vector.
Data Security and Privacy
The Data in the cloud is prone to breaches as is anything on the internet today, thus it is the duty of the organization to make sure that the data put in the cloud is secure. Even though organizations would find it easier to place the responsibility for the privacy and security of data on the service provider, it would be considered being naive to a potential threat. If in an event of a data breach, the organization will be held liable for the damages incurred, thus relying on the service provider completely would be a bit careless. To remove such vulnerabilities is mandatory for the organization to make sure that the data in the cloud is encrypted.
Privacy and security can be improved further by having a thorough knowledge about the cloud, it legalities and its working.
If in case of a data breach, the organization should be ready for breaches, data loss, modification of data and the disclosure of data. In short, the organization should have policies ready for such events, if unfortunately they occur.
Destruction of Data in Cloud
Information is put on the cloud to ensure maximum uptime, however there may come a time when the company data stored in the cloud is not needed anymore and is required to be erased or archived securely. But generally, information is stored in many copies and the concern is if that information can be erased? The improper deletion of information can lead to the data still being available and thus giving rise to a new problem for the consumer. This however, can be resolved by encrypting all the data in the cloud, as if the organization destroys the encryption key, the data shall become inaccessible, thus solving our purpose.
Compliance and Liability
Information stored on the cloud can be located in multiple servers across the globe in a number of countries and every country has different laws the information on the cloud has to abide to. Some countries might have laws that are strict when addressing to private information while some nations might have relaxed laws on this subject and some might not have them at all. Thus, the obligation to abide to laws and regulations creates a conflict for the organizations and also creating a major potential data privacy breach.
With nations running strict laws pertaining to data on the cloud, it is possible that the information could be accessed by officials working under government orders, and if one particular clients’ information is compromised then so can all the information on the server be of other clients as well.
The ultimate responsibility lies with the organization for the data is has created, and is harboring. There is a need for the organization to appoint an individual and certain who shall be taking care of matters when such an incident occurs.
The data stored on the cloud is stored on multiple servers, which can be spread throughout the globe and so the consumer ends knowing very little as to where the location is. This is a concern for organizations as not knowing where their data could lead to mishandling and improper movement of data across servers. Furthermore, not knowing the data location make organizations unsure if their data is not in anyway connected to other organizations’ data and is isolated. The idea of not knowing raises the concerns over security and privacy of information.
Organizations that use the cloud services make a promise of data security and privacy and the organization has full control over the over the data stored and processed. Unfortunately, it is not convenient to be able to monitor and audit the data and be in control of stored information, thus creating a potential efficiency risk.
When moving to the cloud, organizations expose themselves to a variety of threats, but also get to experience the array of services at the disposal, often leaving them confused.” To do or not to do” seems to be the final question, but it is as they say “Glory is for the brave”, leaving consumers wondering if the cloud is worth taking a leap of faith for?
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Renuka Rana, Editor at MyRealData spends considerable part of her time in writing about technology including cloud hosting and Hosted PBX. When not writing, she loves to dig deeper into knowing the best and the latest technology in industry.