Public Cloud computing benefits can be deceptive and Private Cloud computing may really be the way to go. Small and medium organizations or even large organizations starting out with their IT investments may find public Cloud computing cheaper to start with; and hence attractive. The bottom line is that they can quickly and efficiently acquire large amounts of computing power with small amount of investment. They can scale up and down and work around the need for dedicated infrastructure and connect up scattered branches across the globe. They can mobilize their workers and build up their business in ways that were never dreamt of before. But, is public Cloud computing really safe?
Critics of the public Cloud point to the vulnerability of the Internet and the possibility that the costs of acquiring and maintaining the public Cloud infrastructures may prove expensive in the many visible and invisible ways. The organization could become provider dependent, and face a number of portability issues (including lack of standardization) in the event that a need to “migrate” information arises. Service consumer’s mission-critical data may be at risk and they may suddenly find themselves “non-compliant”, and facing a number of legal hassles associated with data breach.
It is true that in the past, the public Cloud was considered insecure and these were the reasons for the apprehension around Cloud computing. However, the questioning attitude was healthy and has led to the maturing of public Cloud services. Public Cloud service providers are making an all out effort to plug “security holes” and give their customers the assurance of a secure, regulated, managed, controlled service delivery. Data portability standards are being drafted and implemented and portability will soon be no problem. The public Cloud need no longer be feared.
Customers, too, are gradually coming round to accepting public Cloud computing for what it can offer with a realistic appraisal of facts and figures. The public Cloud has much to offer. Cloud service customers are openly acknowledging the fact that security in the public Cloud cannot be one sided. Customers availing of Cloud backup and recovery services need to build, strategize, and implement security protocols at their end and not ignore security tasks in the day-to-day hassles of their business. Each service provider will have to be evaluated on their strengths, capabilities, and experience; and not on rumors and conjectures. Customers must diligently evaluate the software, hardware, operational best practices, and all the security measures that have been claimed as being in place. The reputation of the service provider, credentials, commitment to keeping security systems current, or resources dedicated to security will have to be defining parameters.