The Risks of Cloud Computing

More and more small businesses are finding ways to reduce operating costs through cloud computing. That is, they’re moving business functions and processes from on-site and in-house to servers on the world wide web. But before making the leap into the cloud, make sure you’re aware of the risks of cloud computing:


According to a KMPG cloud computing study, 76 percent of the participants revealed security issues to be their primary risk concern over cloud computing technology. Storing data externally and having less control over remote data storage does come with risks. But KPMG is quick to point out that security issues arising from cloud computing have been relatively low thus far. It’s a typically knee-jerk reaction to feel ill-at-ease when having customer data, financial information, and other sensitive records housed off-site, but in many cases a small business is actually moving to a “more” secure environment when moving to cloud computing.


How much data is cloud computing vendors, like Google collecting from you? First, carefully consider the sensitivity of the information you are storing on the cloud. Secondly, be sure you’re on board with the vendor’s privacy policy before releasing your data or applications to a cloud computer vendor.

Data loss

Data loss is a concern whether you store data on your own servers or through a cloud computing vendor. However, keep in mind that most cloud providers are likely better suited financially and infrastructure-wise than your small business to handle a data security threat or recover lost or stolen data.

Server outages, Google, and even Amazon have had their share of cloud computing service outages. Even the biggest and best cloud computing companies have had their services go dark for hours or even days at a time, which is another one of the risks of cloud computing. Small businesses that depend on cloud-based services must understand this risk and employ back-ups in the event an cloud service outage occurs.

What’s the bottom line? Small businesses that are contemplating making the move to the cloud must understand the inherent risks of cloud computing and determine if the benefits outweigh these risks. Most experts agree that cloud computing offers too many benefits for small businesses to dismiss lightly. They also agree that the cloud is here to stay and will continue to improve over time.