When consuming the latest in cloud-related news, it is easy to come away with the impression that all clouds are public clouds. For those who still conflate cloud-computing with the public cloud, it is probably a shock to learn that industry analysts predict that the private and public cloud will grow at the same rate over the next five years. What is more, the hybrid cloud is emerging as an increasingly lucrative option for certain industries that have to comply with stringent data regulations. As the options increase, it becomes imperative for companies to consider their data storage needs and the security implications of their options, because while cloud models offer rapid and cost-effective access to business technology, not all models provide the same degree of security and control. (Learn more about the security implications of the private cloud.
In many ways, the advent of the public cloud has been a god send for small to midsized companies because it allows them to utilize IT services that previously would have been too expensive due to prohibitive infrastructure costs. Leveraging cloud computing is one way that small businesses can enhance their IT infrastructure to be competitive in today’s market. Large organizations that can afford the upfront costs also benefit from public cloud services by gaining flexibility and scalability. But for all the benefits the public cloud brings, it also has a couple major detractors when it comes to security. For many larger organizations, the lack of control over the physical presence of the data storage facility is problematic. Additionally—for large and small companies alike—use of the public cloud means that your organization is dependent on your vendor for reliable access to your data.
Security Advantages of the Public Cloud
- Data is protected by a top class firewall
- Physical security of the data facility is multi-layered and extensive, and often in a place completely unknowable to the people who work at your organization
- Have help defending yourself against DDoS
- Protected from hardware failures
Security Disadvantages of the Public Cloud
- Dependence upon the responsiveness of the vendor
- No control over who gains access to the physical site of the data storage facility
- Potentially subject to jurisdictional issues, especially when data travels internationally
- Dependent upon the quality and terms of service of a vendor
How does the public cloud fit with your company’s security policies? What are some of the other security implications of using a public cloud?