Cloud Computing Essentials


From large multi-national corporations in Shanghai to small start ups in Hackney, Cloud computing has become an essential tool for growing your business and adapting to changes quickly and easily. Freeing you from the shackles of running your own IT equipment and applications by keeping all the files in one central location, so everyone can work off one central copy. This whole process makes collaboration between staff stronger which increases efficiency and improves a company’s productivity.

There are over 4.2 million people working from home in the UK. Keeping data in the clouds means that as long as employees have internet access, they can work from anywhere.This flexibility positively affects the work, life, balance. It all seems like a miracle solution and it’s true the advantages are huge but not “every cloud has a silver lining” and it’s good to be aware of the disadvantages that can occur if your company does not choose a provider wisely.

The 5 most common concerns are:-
Data Breaches
Cloud Service Providers often store more than one customer’s data on the same server. As a result, there is a chance that your private data can be breached by other users or a hacker. Before adopting this technology, you should know that you will be surrendering all your company’s sensitive information to a third party, this could potentially put your company at great risk.
Cloud service providers can ensure your data is properly segregated, isolated and stored by virtualisation techniques or even physically separate dedicated environments. Look for established companies and ask them about how they regulate and monitor their systems administrators’ access to servers holding client data.
Losing Data
According to The Cloud Security Alliance, Data Loss in the No 2 threat to security. Accidental deletion is one way Data can be lost. As staff work together on projects one member might accidentally delete the shared project or someone might delete a scrapped project and then later learn it’s starting up again. New information sometimes has the potential to overwrite old information and can cause data sets to be partially overwritten losing data in the process. Deliberate sabotage by malicious insiders can also cause data to be lost forever in the cloud. Solutions are available in the form of backups and security software. Study and examine your provider’s security policies before going ahead and signing a contract with them.
Malicious insiders
A recent study by IBM reported that only 45 percent of all attacks come from outsiders. Malicious Insiders could also be a third party insider such as suppliers,consultants and outsourcing services. To prevent this encryption keys should be kept with the customer and only used at data usage time. All staff should only have access to the applications needed to do their job as this would reduce the risks. Additionally , Cloud Service providers must ensure that thorough background checks are
conducted for employees who have physical access to the servers in the data centre.
Spiralling costs
It’s true that the initial costs for cloud computing are lower than the budget needed to fund a roomful of servers based on the idea that you’re paying for the services as you need them, but ordering too much computing power can be as easy as over ordering at a restaurant or leaving the tap running at home. You’re paying for the storage you use, so it helps to regularly audit the data you are storing and delete any duplicates and old information that is no longer needed. It is estimated that some 60% of cloud software servers can be reduced or terminated because companies have purchased too many. Companies should build cloud computing costs into their budgets the way they would for other utilities. To avoid spiralling costs choose a provider that can help you work out a strategy to structure your cloud services model so you are only paying for the services that you actually need.
Compliance Issues
Compliance is one of the main concerns for companies worried about storing their data in public cloud environments.The most important thing to get right at the start here is the “Service Level Agreement” – or SLA. This is the contract between your company and your chosen cloud provider that outlines responsibilities on both sides. As soon as you move data from your internal storage to someone else’s you are forced to examine closely how that data will be kept so that you remain compliant with laws and industry regulations.The application security policy should closely mimic the policy of applications hosted internally by the consumer. Be wary of using cloud services from foreign lands that might not be subject to the same laws we have in Europe.

In summary, the cloud will continue to be a critical part of many companies’ IT strategy enabling you to seize market opportunities and receive customers feedback more quickly. Back up and recovery time is simplified and an added bonus is that you can reduce your carbon footprint in the process as cloud is environmentally friendly consuming less power than traditional methods of computing.

Computers in the City have secure, strong and scalable hosting solutions. Every solution is designed and implemented to ensure security. We beat industry leading benchmarks for functionality and dependability. We work with each client to properly understand how their data is to be managed and then ensure that we are able to offer suitable services to manage their data appropriately.