If you want to deliver digital services of any kind, you’ll need to estimate all types of resources, not the least of which are CPU, memory, storage, and network connectivity. Which help you choose for your delivery — cloud-based or local — is up to you. But you’ll want to do your homework first. You’ll need to understand the pros and cons of cloud computing and how to contextualize any existing disadvantages.
Cloud computing has benefited many enterprises by reducing costs and focusing on one’s core business competence rather than IT and infrastructure issues. Despite the general hype on the subject across the IT world, cloud computing can be disadvantages, especially in smaller operations. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of cloud computing and show you how to understand and contextualize any existing disadvantages.
This article will explore some of the critical disadvantages and share tips and best practices that your teams can employ to address them. You can streamline this process by using a thorough, process-built approach to understanding cloud security, such as Cloud Academy’s Security – Specialty Certification Preparation for AWS Learning Path.
Disadvantages of cloud computing explained
Downtime is often cited as one of the most significant disadvantages of cloud computing. Since cloud computing systems are internet-based, service outages are always an unfortunate possibility and can occur for any reason.
Can your business afford the impacts of an outage or slowdown? An outage on Amazon Web Services in 2017 cost publicly traded companies up to 150 million dollars. Unfortunately, no organization is immune, especially when critical business processes cannot afford to be interrupted. In June and July of 2019, many companies and services were hit by outages, including Cloudflare (a significant web services provider), Google, Amazon, Shopify, Reddit, Verizon, and Spectrum.
Best practices for minimizing planned downtime in a cloud environment
- Design services with high availability and disaster recovery in mind. Leverage the multi-availability zones provided by cloud vendors in your infrastructure.
- If your services have a low tolerance for failure, consider multi-region deployments with automated failover to ensure the best business continuity possible.
- Define and implement a disaster recovery plan in line with your business objectives that provide the lowest possible recovery time (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO).
- Consider implementing dedicated connectivity such as AWS Direct Connect, Azure ExpressRoute, or Google Cloud’s Dedicated Interconnect or Partner Interconnect. These services provide a dedicated network connection between you and the cloud service point of presence. This can reduce exposure to the risk of business interruption from the public internet.
- Read the fine print on your Service Level Agreement (SLA). Are you guaranteed 99.9% uptime or even better? That 0.1% downtime equals about 45 minutes per month or around eight hours per year.
2). Security and privacy
Although cloud service providers implement the best security standards and industry certifications, storing data and important files on external service providers always opens up risks. Any discussion involving data must address security and privacy, especially when it comes to managing sensitive data. We must not forget what happened at Code Space and the hacking of their AWS EC2 console, which led to data deletion and the company's eventual shutdown.
Their dependence on the remote cloud-based infrastructure meant taking on the risks of outsourcing everything.
Of course, any cloud service provider is expected to manage and safeguard the underlying hardware infrastructure of a deployment. However, your responsibilities lie in the realm of user access management, and it’s up to you to carefully weigh all the risk scenarios.
Though recent breaches of credit card data and user login credentials are still fresh in the public's minds, steps have been taken to ensure the safety of data. One such example is the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), which was recently enacted in the European Union to provide users with more control over their data. Nonetheless, you still need to be aware of your responsibilities and follow best practices.
Best practices for minimizing security and privacy risks
- This is important: Understand the shared responsibility model of your cloud provider. You will still be liable for what occurs within your network and in your product.
- Implement security at every level of your deployment.
- Know who is supposed to have access to each resource and service, and limit access to the least privilege. If an employee goes rogue and gains access to your deployment, you would want their impact to be over the smallest area possible.
- Make sure your team’s skills are up to the task. The Top 10 Things Cybersecurity Professionals Need to Know is a great article to understand how to mitigate security and privacy concerns in the cloud.
- Take a risk-based approach to certain assets used in the cloud and extend security to the devices.
- Implement multi-factor authentication for all accounts accessing sensitive data or systems.
- Encryption, encryption, encryption. Turn on encryption wherever you can — easy wins are on object storage such as Amazon S3 or Azure Blob Storage, where customer data often resides. The simple act of turning on encryption on S3 could have prevented the Capital One data breach in July 2019 that exposed 100 million users’ information.
3). Vulnerability to attack
In cloud computing, every component is online, which exposes potential vulnerabilities. Even the best teams suffer severe attacks and security breaches from time to time. Since cloud computing is built as a public service, it’s easy to run before learning to walk. After all, no one at a cloud vendor checks your administration skills before granting you an account: all it takes to get started is generally a valid credit card.
Best practices to help you reduce cloud attacks.
- Make security a core aspect of all IT operations.
- Keep ALL your teams up-to-date with cloud security best practices.
- Ensure security policies and procedures are regularly checked and reviewed.
- Proactively classify information and apply access control.
- Use cloud services such as AWS Inspector, AWS CloudWatch, AWS CloudTrail, and AWS Config to automate compliance controls.
- Prevent data exfiltration.
- Integrate prevention and response strategies into security operations.
- Discover rogue projects with audits.
- Remove password access from accounts that do not need to log in to services.
- Review and rotate access keys and credentials.
- Follow security blogs and announcements to be aware of known attacks.
- Apply security best practices for any open source software that you are using.
- Again, use encryption whenever and wherever possible.
These practices will help your organization monitor for the exposure and movement of critical data, defend crucial systems from attack and compromise, and authenticate access to infrastructure and data to protect against other risks.
4). Limited control and flexibility
Since the cloud infrastructure is entirely owned, managed, and monitored by the service provider, it transfers minimal control to the customer.
To varying degrees (depending on the particular service), cloud users may find they have less control over the function and execution of services within a cloud-hosted infrastructure. A cloud provider’s end-user license agreement (EULA) and management policies might impose limits on what customers can do with their deployments. Customers retain control of their applications, data, and services but may not have the same level of control over their backend infrastructure.
Best practices for maintaining control and flexibility
- Consider using a cloud provider partner to help with implementing, running, and supporting cloud services.
- Understand your responsibilities and the cloud vendor's responsibilities in the shared responsibility model to reduce the chance of omission or error.
- Make time to understand your cloud service provider’s basic level of support. Will this service level meet your support requirements? Most cloud providers offer additional support tiers over and above the necessary support for an additional cost.
- Ensure you understand the SLA concerning the infrastructure and services you’re going to use and how that will impact your agreements with your customers.
5). Vendor lock-in
Vendor lock-in is another perceived disadvantage of cloud computing. Easy switching between cloud services is a service that hasn’t yet completely evolved, and organizations may find it difficult to migrate their services from one vendor to another. Differences between vendor platforms may create difficulties in relocating from one cloud platform to another, which could equate to additional costs and configuration complexities. Gaps or compromises made during migration could also expose your data to other security and privacy vulnerabilities.
Best practices to decrease dependency.
- Design with cloud architecture best practices in mind. All cloud services provide the opportunity to improve availability and performance, decouple layers, and reduce performance bottlenecks. If you have built your services using cloud architecture best practices, you are less likely to have issues porting from one cloud platform to another.
- Properly understand what your vendors are selling to help avoid lock-in challenges.
- Employ a multi-cloud strategy to avoid vendor lock-in. While this may add both development and operational complexity to your deployments, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Training can help prepare teams to architect and select best-fit services and technologies.
- Build-in flexibility as a matter of strategy when designing applications to ensure portability now and in the future.
- Build your applications with services that offer cloud-first advantages, such as modularity and portability of microservices and code. Think containers and Kubernetes.
6). Cost concerns
Adopting cloud solutions on a small scale and for short-term projects can be perceived as being expensive. However, the most significant cloud computing benefit is in terms of IT cost savings. Pay-as-you-go cloud services can provide more flexibility and lower hardware costs, but the overall price tag could end up being higher than you expected. Until you are sure of what will work best for you, it's a good idea to experiment with various offerings. You might also make use of the cost calculators made available by providers like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.
Best practices to reduce costs
- Try not to over provision your services, but rather look into using auto-scaling services.
- Ensure you have the option to scale DOWN as well as UP.
- Pre-pay and take advantage of reserved instances if you have a known minimum usage.
- Automate the process to start/stop your instances to save money when they are not being used.
- Create alerts to track cloud spending.
Disadvantages of cloud computing: Closing thoughts
Many organizations benefit from the agility, scale, and pay-per-use billing that cloud services offer. However, as with any infrastructure service, cloud computing's suitability for your specific use case should be assessed in a risk-based evaluation. Build-in time for research and planning to understand how the cloud will affect your business.
10 Disadvantages & Risks of Cloud Computing
Have you ever asked where precisely a company stores all data until the virtual world's activities? The answer is cloud computing. Cloud computing is where information is permanently stored on a server on the Internet and stored temporarily on a user's computer or clients such as desktops, tablet computers, notebooks, wall computers, handhelds, sensors, monitors and others.
However, there are disadvantages of cloud computing behind this technology. Before it's explained, let's see about cloud computing overview.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is a combination of computer technology (computing) and Internet-based development (cloud). Cloud is a metaphor for the Internet, as is the cloud that is often depicted in computer network diagrams.
Cloud computing is a general concept of other recent technology trends widely known to include SaaS, Web 2.0, with the general theme of being dependent on the Internet to provide users with computing needs. For example, Google Apps offers available business applications online that are accessed through a web browser with software and data stored on the server.
As the cloud in the computer network diagram, cloud in Cloud Computing is also an abstraction of the complex infrastructure that is hidden. It is a computational method in which information technology-related capabilities are presented as a service so that users can access them via the Internet without knowing what is inside, being expert with them, or having control over the technological infrastructure that helps them.
Cloud computing systems are using an Internet-based service to support business processes. The words "Cloud" refer to the cloud symbol in the IT world used to describe the internet network or internet cloud.
It is clear that every system has advantages and disadvantages, and cloud computing is not an exception. Its benefits for business, such as minimizing public infrastructure investment costs so that companies can be more focused on aspects of its functionality. SaaS services enable rapid development and implementation of applications to increase productivity, open new markets for information technology development service industries, increase the use of these SaaS services, increase the use of internet bandwidth, and integrate applications with various devices. However, everything has its weakness include cloud computing. Cloud computing pros and cons are debated to its user. What are the disadvantages of cloud computing?
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
There are benefits from cloud computing usage, but it is undeniable that this system also has some disadvantages. The risks of cloud computing you should know, such as:
#1. Risk of data confidentiality
There is always a risk that other people can access user data. So data and cloud protection must be useful because if it won't be dangerous for data confidentiality.
#2. It depends on an internet connection
The Internet is the only way to cloud computing. When there is no internet connection in your place or the internet path to the cloud provider is in trouble, automatically access to your cloud computing machine will be disconnected. Now, this is where the biggest obstacle is happening in developing countries and remote areas that do not have good internet access. And the weakness of the public cloud is where everyone accesses the same server and server and will increase the risk of attack and down the server.
#3. The level of security
Secrecy and security are among the most doubtful things in cloud computing. Using a cloud computing system means we are entirely entrusted with data protection and confidentiality to companies that provide cloud computing servers. When you experience a problem, you cannot sue the server for errors in the data. When you experience pain, you cannot sue the server for errors in the data.
This refers to the risk of a level compliance deviation from the provider against the user's regulations.
#5. Vulnerable in the event of an attack
There are many arguments against cloud computing, one of which is computing because the Cloud Computing work system is online. Each component of Cloud Computing can be exposed to a wide range, a wide-open opportunity for attacks on data or activities stored on the server. When hackers carry out an attack, the problems that occur are data security and data privacy.
#6. Data Mobility
This refers to the possibility of sharing data between cloud services and how to retrieve data if one day, the user makes a process of terminating cloud computing services. And there is local storage where the data can be used at any time as needed.
#7. Technical problem
Besides that, Cloud Computing makes you unable to manage it yourself when there is a problem or a problem; you must contact customer support who is not necessarily ready 24/7. This is a problem because for some help you also have to pay more money.
#8. Low Connection
It does not work well if the connection is slow. The quality of cloud computing servers is one of the most important considerations before we decide to provide a cloud computing server service providers. When the server is down or the performance is not right, we will be harmed because of low server quality.
Well, that's the advantages and disadvantages of using Cloud Computing services. The use of the cloud is all just good; there is also a shortage of cloud. However, never be afraid to use what is called Cloud Computing. What readers need to note is that there is no single safe and sound system. If there is a safe and fair system, there is no need for a system update and bug fixes.
What Type of Businesses Get Impact of Cloud Computing Disadvantages?
Marketplace companies such as Amazon, Alibaba and Airbnb have considered cloud computing risks and benefits. Quoting from Hitwise.com, Amazon did over 17 million transactions made on Amazon over Prime Day 2018, and all of them were done online. Imagine if there was a problem like a server that had to be down for some time, Amazon could lose millions of dollars. This can also happen to Alibaba, Airbnb and e-commerce, and various other online-based marketplaces that make transactions online.
Also, for health companies, patient data is a confidential matter and privacy. Disadvantages of cloud computing that has less security can cause data leak to the public. Law firms will also potentially get losses when using cloud computing if a problem occurs. This is because law firm cloud computing is at risk in security, and the flexibility of work will hinder the performance of law firms. That is why a law firm should use trusted and professional cloud providers for the business.
What do we do to overcome the disadvantages of cloud computing?
Cloud Computing sounds so dangerous because it has various disadvantages, but you need to remember that Cloud Computing also has several advantages that can help your business grow. It is undeniable that Cloud Computing is a unique system, although there are various disadvantages because there is no truly perfect system. Besides, cloud service technology is always improving from time to time. The future of cloud computing will be more sophisticated and better managed. But the first essential thing you need to do is finding the best cloud service is before moving to the cloud.
What you need to do to overcome the shortcomings in cloud computing is to find service providers who want to provide for your business needs and ensure your server's security. Also, inadequate infrastructure is one of the often experienced problems; for this, you can also use Cloud Hybrid, where service providers will handle the transition and reduce time & costs greatly using personnel and technology for your business.
Our company provides the best cloud computing system for your business needs, and we are confident in protecting our client data. We serve security assurance for any business, but we specialize our scope in the legal area.