The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), has issued a checklist in which it has informed business organisations about the risks and benefits of using a cloud storage system.
Cloud computing services typically allow businesses to store their data on remote server and enabling them to access it whenever they want. The services also allow the businesses to save up on important resources like electricity, space, storage systems.
Giles Hogben, ENISA security expert, talking to ZDNet UK said that the main risk to businesses is the lock-in period associated with a cloud based service, adding that there is little in the way of tools for exporting data form one provider to another. The security expert also warned about the ‘isolation failure’ where access control and bandwidth provisions were an issue.
Declaring that governance issues were another major risk for the businesses using the cloud service, ENISA risk management expert Daniele Catteddu added that there where several client code issues like patching, security testing, and policy enforcement.
He said that legal and contractual issues as well as data-protection compliance also posed a risk as according to the data protection laws, the cloud customer is often looked upon as the data controller.
The experts, highlighting the benefits of cloud service said that the service was best for small businesses as the security of their data is managed by bigger companies as they might not have the resources to protect their network.
Cloud computing has its advantages and disadvantages. The checklist issued by ENISA is said to become a framework for cloud service providers within a year but common sense is often more important as is the individual situation of every single company. Netcommunities, the publishers of ITProPortal.com, have recently decided to move to cloud computing, a solution that might or might now suit others.