Experts argue that a private cloud may not be as private as once thought since the primary purpose of the cloud is to share information across devices. Even still, a private cloud is more secure than a public cloud. Private clouds can be made personal and help business owners prevent breaches by giving them more control. Let us take a look at how private clouds can be beneficial to companies.
Advantages of the Personal Cloud
No Third Party Servers. Since private clouds are typically hosted in-house, there is no need to send files to a third-party server. This lowers the possibility of information being intercepted during transmission. Hackers often target transmissions to third-party servers and attempt to intercept the data as it is in transit. Many hackers may try to decode the encrypted data during transmission.
Companies with fears of data breach have no worries of proprietary data being compromised in transit to a third party server. The only fear is transmission to end-point devices protected by the organization.
Complete Data Control. With the personal cloud, companies have complete control over their data. There is no need to determine if the vendor’s security personnel have passed their background checks or who has access to the servers during the course of the day. Many companies worry when the number of people with access to the servers increases because there is no guarantee that these people will not assist with data theft. Personal cloud provides more peace of mind.
No Pre-Planning Required. Since the data is hosted in-house, IT managers do not have to select only certain applications that will be hosted in the cloud. Instead, every file can be uploaded to the server without fear of data breach. As long as business owners trust the people they have hired, the data will remain safe from physical threat of theft. This is preferable to many business owners who are new to the cloud and do not quite trust the idea of hosting data on a third party server.
Unfortunately, their concerns are valid. The number of hacking incidents is on the rise. In the past two years, there have been more high-profile hacking cases than ever before in history. Many of the hacking cases are related to cloud computing vendors. If the cloud is not configured properly, it can leave companies vulnerable to attacks.
The hackers are getting bolder also. In fact, one in three UK companies have been hacked. They are getting a thrill from hacking larger companies without getting caught. The UK is not alone. Companies using the cloud around the world are victims of hackers.
Google experienced similar incidents related to cloud and hacking. Australian companies also were hacked and cited the cloud configuration as the culprit. Oil companies around the world have fallen victim to a Chinese hacker. The UK, United States and Bangladesh were all victims of his antics.
In 2010, The United States Treasury Department was hacked. For four days in May 2010, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was inoperable. The Treasury Department cited the cloud computing vendor as negligent.
Many companies after reading these stories want to keep their data close to home, but private clouds are not without its breaches and challenges. Companies must continue to implement strategies to protect data and end-point devices. Until a solution is devised, many companies will have to just have to take every precaution to avoid an attack. Tech forensics solutions may deter some hackers.
It’s like having a home or driving a car, if criminals think you have LoJack or ADT, they are less likely to steal from your home or take your car. Tech forensics solutions are the ADT and LoJack for computers and cloud solutions. Companies may not stop using cloud computing, but safety measures can be implemented to reduce risk.
Disadvantages of the Personal Cloud
On-Site. Personal cloud solutions keep the data on-site. This does not offer much in terms of disaster recovery. One of the major benefits of cloud storage is the ability to mitigate losses if disaster strikes a company. With the personal cloud, all data remains on premises. While this protects the company from hackers stealing proprietary information hosted on a third-party server, this does not protect the business owner should the physical building experience loss from a fire, flood or theft on-site. How is the business protected in this instance?
Most business owners store data at an off-site facility in storage. This is time-consuming and far from space-conscious. The practice can also be expensive. This is why many business owners skip this step and opt for a public cloud. A public cloud vendor that offers redundant backup is often safer than hosting in-house for disaster recovery purposes. Thieves must first determine the cloud hosting vendor in order to plan an attack on the company. This involves significant planning and for many thieves, planning is deterrence.
In the event of fire and flood, hosting off-site is often preferred because even the best plan to save data during a fire or flood may not work. Hosting on-site is high-risk in this situation. IT managers have to weigh the risks and determine if the risk of potential loss of proprietary data to hackers or thieves on a third-party server greater than hosting a private cloud in-house with the risk of losing to fire or flood. If the public cloud is more high-risk, the private cloud would be the better solution for companies.
More companies, however, are making the switch to public cloud solutions for disaster recovery purposes. Many companies find their risk of fire, flood and on-site theft greater than hosting off-site. Hybrid solutions are the compromise for people who are on-the-fence about these two technologies and how the solutions can benefit their company.
Private Clouds are Safer But Not Fool-Proof
Private clouds may be safer, but in many instances, the solution is more expensive because the company has to hire an IT professional to monitor the cloud 24 hours per day and seven days per week. Breaches are still possible. Companies must simply take every precaution to prevent attacks.
About Guest Author: David Malmborg works with Dell, and enjoys writing about technology. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, the outdoors, and spending time with his family. You can find more information about Dell Cloud Computing here.