Though Cloud storage offers many benefits, it comes with a set of risks, which need to be recognised. Risk management An agreement on the risk of cloud computing is difficult to understand because the industry is lacking a structured framework. According to the Cloud Security Alliance, the recent cloud outages at high-profile organisations have highlighted the need for stronger cloud computing risk managements. Cloud computing risk management requires revisiting risk assumptions, as emerging risks need to be accounted for security programs need to be adjusted, accordingly. Regulatory compliance The ability of a cloud provider to mitigate your risk is done through a process of regular external audits, PEN tests, compliance with PCI standards to name a few. You are responsible for weighing up the risks to your organisation's information and ensuring that the cloud provider has standards and procedures in place in case of an emergency. Data loss and recovery Data on the cloud is almost always encrypted; this is to ensure security of the data. However, corrupted encrypted data is harder to recover than unencrypted data. It's important to know how your provider plans to recover your data if a mishap occurs and how long it will take to rectify. Location Your data may not be residing in the same city, state or country as your organisation. Your provider may be contractually obliged to you to ensure the privacy of your data, but they may be even more obliged to follow the laws of the state, or country in which your data is stored. Staff must have knowledge of the cloud system All users of the cloud software should have knowledge on how it works and its risks, they should also be accountable for their use of the cloud. You should ensure that those involved with your business and technology have the skills to work with the cloud initiative and a firm grasp of exactly what should be “in the cloud”. All cloud-based technology and data must be formally classified for confidentiality, integrity and availability. Management must monitor the risks All cloud-based technology must enable transparent and timely reporting which should be supported by monitoring throughout the escalation processes. You should work with the IT department in case you run into trouble. For further reading, download our whitepaper on cloud computing myths, and read Three things about Cloud Computing your CFO needs to know. Vita Enterprise Solutions Vita Enterprise Solutions draws on the insight, expertise and know-how generated from 20 years of servicing the Australia market. For more information, contact us on 1300 139 310 on enquire online today.