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Cloud Storage For Your Enterprise: How Big Of A Risk Are You Taking By Going With Cloud?

Cloud Storage For Your Enterprise: How Big Of A Risk Are You Taking By Going With Cloud

More improved technologies are emerging in the business landscape today, bringing innovation and spearheading growth. Notably, cloud storage has become increasingly popular among enterprises. Business owners are looking to leverage cloud servers' powerful capabilities to improve efficiency in data storage and file sharing.

According to Gartner, 51% of IT spending on specific market segments, such as application software and infrastructure software, will shift from traditional storage methods to the cloud. This represents an increase from the 41% cloud spending expected as of 2022. Particularly, enterprises investing in application software are forecasted to spend 57.7% of their total IT expenses on cloud technologies. This may increase to 65.9% by 2025.

These statistics prove that business owners see great value in cloud technology and are ready to prioritize it in their budgets to power growth.

Advantages of cloud storage 

Cloud storage has transformed the way enterprises handle data and use IT. Below are some advantages of cloud storage:

  • Collaboration: With club-based storage solutions like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Tresorit, workers can work on documents simultaneously, leave comments, and obtain real-time feedback. They can instantly share these files among themselves or clients.
  • Cost-effective: Cloud service companies offer affordable packages for organizations annually based on their annual storage requirements. Ideally, building and managing an in-house data center is more costly, primarily if you handle big volumes of data. Additionally, external hard drives and USB flash drives may not be effective for busy organizations with large files and are prone to mechanical failure.
  • Accessibility: Cloud storage enables remote work since your employees can access information from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection.
  • Scalability: With cloud solutions, you can instantly upgrade your service plan as your business needs grow. For instance, if you want to add more users or functions, your cloud storage company can offer more extensive storage options at an increased rate.
  • Data security: Though cloud storage has inherent security risks, data stored on the cloud is safer than data stored offline.

While cloud storage solutions bring more opportunities for your enterprise, it's also associated with significant risks. According to IT experts, every kind of new technology comes with threats. Below are some of the risks you may encounter and possible solutions.

1. Security and privacy concerns

Data security is one of the critical risks you'll face when switching to the cloud. Once you store information in the cloud, you may not have total control over preventing unauthorized access. Cyberattack criminals have upped their game and are adopting better strategies to access vital data online for selfish reasons.

Therefore, basic security measures, such as passwords and user logins, are no longer viable. According to Statista, global digital users witnessed about 52 million data breaches in the second quarter of 2022.

These attackers exploit vulnerabilities, such as misconfigurations, unsecured APIs, stolen credentials, or malware, to get hold of critical online resources. In a worldwide survey conducted between 2019 and 2022, 60% of the respondents revealed that cloud interfaces' misconfiguration is their biggest security threat. Other cloud threats mentioned were unwanted access and exfiltration of private information.

Moreover, note that some criminals are after cash and can hijack your systems until you pay them some ransom. You also risk hefty government fines and a bad reputation once hackers access sensitive customer information.

Hence, you should inquire about security protocols before entrusting any cloud company with your sensitive business information. The cloud provider should inform you of all the potential threats and how you can join efforts to mitigate them. Fortunately, trusted cloud storage providers like Tresorit employ robust security measures, such as end-to-end encryption, built-in firewalls, two-factor authentication, and consistent updates, to safeguard any data on cloud networks.

This high level of protection applies to all data types, including data in use, data at rest, and data in transmission. And to be safer, you'd want to keep a copy of backups on site in case of a breach, especially if you're dealing with critical company information.

Data storage and access

2. Lack of data control

Investment in cloud technology keeps increasing. In fact, end-user spending on cloud services is projected to increase by 20.4% as of 2022, reaching USD$494.7 billion. This represents an increase from USD$410.9 billion in 2021. Plus, the expectation is that it will rise consistently in the subsequent quarters, amounting to about USD$600 billion by 2023.

However, you risk losing control over the data stored off-site by migrating to the cloud. Essentially, your company data is taken outside your on-site IT environment, meaning you have no control over the privacy settings. You'll not be able to customize data storage, which might be an issue if you're a big organization with complex storage needs.

Furthermore, lack of visibility puts you at risk of regulatory non-compliance. Thus, you should work with a cloud storage provider with a compliance center for basic regulations, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), to ease compliance.

3. Service outage

Outages due to unforeseen circumstances may happen and may disrupt cloud computing services. For instance, your vendor's network may go down, and communications may shut down for some time. Aside from these issues, failed or slow internet connection may result in downtime. In such disaster cases, you and your employees may not access data. This significantly impacts productivity and may cost you time and money, especially if you have live processes that cannot tolerate interruptions.

While you may not completely prevent cloud outages, you can reduce the risks by:

  • Adopting a multi-cloud, multi-location approach to spread your workload across different locations and prevent a single point of failure.
  • Choosing a cloud storage provider with cloud-to-cloud backups, so you can utilize a secondary copy in case of a disaster.
  • Testing for possible outages to be better prepared for an emergency. For instance, you can replicate your systems in a staged environment and evaluate how they perform in different situations or how effective your response plan is.

All in all, the occasional outage is inevitable, but you can adopt the above measures to protect your data from downtime.

Conclusion

Many businesses are turning to cloud storage solutions to transform data management, increase productivity, and stay competitive. As above, the cloud offers many benefits for business owners.

Though it also comes with considerable risks, there are measures you can take to mitigate them. So, if you're looking to shift your operations to the cloud, ensure you collaborate with a reputable cloud service provider that provides high-level security and incredible offerings.

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