Using the cloud – Hidden Costs?

This is a follow up to our other postings about Cloud Computing.  Symantec Canada, has issued a new report entitled Avoiding the Hidden Costs of the Cloud. This study largely confirms many of the comments we have made in previous blogs about the cloud.  This is essentially a re-tweet.

The entire presentation can be found at  http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/about/media/pdfs/b-state-of-cloud-global-results-2013.en-us.pdf.

The study found some serious hidden costs to cloud computing that organizations should be careful to avoid.  These include “Rogue clouds”, and issues with inefficient storage, backup and recovery and compliance.

Rogue clouds are implementations of cloud systems by other parts of the organization without IT involvement, despite the fact that IT is probably responsible for data security.  Sales deploying Salesforce® for example without IT involvement or permission, would be a rogue cloud.  Such implementations can result in sensitive corporate information being placed outside the organization’s firewalls, subject to all of the security concerns we have enunciated in previous posts.

These concerns are very real.  The study found that roughly 75% of organizations had experienced rogue deployments within the past 12 months!  The critical issue is the unintended results:

40 % of these had confidential data exposed

22 % had actually had goods or services stolen; and

10 % had had “account takeover issues”.

These are not esoteric risks!

With regards to data integrity, just over 2/3 of users experienced some degree of data loss due to data restoration failures.

And almost 50% noted that half, or more, of the data being stored on the cloud was duplicated and that organizations are paying for roughly 6 times the cloud storage they actually need.

So, while the cloud does offer some interesting advantages, we would still recommend strongly for keeping anything confidential in-house, on a “private cloud”.