Risk Assessment of Cloud Computing

Below, I have  Performed a short qualitative risk assessment of cloud computing that may be used as guidance for any company thinking of moving to the cloud.  Showing some of the strengths, weaknesses and benefits?

Risks

Risk Description Probability Impact Risk Affects
Lock-in Difficult to migrate from one service provide to the next. High Medium Company Rep., Data, Service
Loss of Governance Loss of some control  to CP and unknown roles Very High Very High Company rep, data, customers trust, service
Compliance Challenged Compliance with regulations and certifications Very High High Certifications, fines
Business Rep Loss Poor Service harms business during transition. Low High Company rep, service,  data
Cloud service Terminated Poor provider, lack of understandable terms N/A Very High Rep, trust, emp loyaty, service
Provider Acquisition Mergers and buy-outs of CP N/A Medium Rep, customer trust, emp exp, intellectual property, data, service
Supply chain Failure Lack of supplier redundancy Low Medium Company rep, customer trust, data, services
Technical Risk Over/under provisioning Medium Medium Access control, company rep
Malicious Insider Abuse of high privileges Medium Very High Company rep. data, employee and customer trust
Intercept Data in transit Weak encryption, vulnerabilities in cloud Medium High Company rep. data, intellectual property
Insecure/Ineffective deletion of data Proper sanitization or data Medium Very High Sensitive data, personal data
DDoS Distributed Denial of Service Attack Medium High Cloud Interface, Network, Customers, Company rep, service
Data Protection Staorage in multiple locations High High Company rep, data, service
Not part of CP Network Breaks Medium Medium Service
Social Engineering Lack of security & awareness Medium High Intellectual property, data, emp & customer trust, reputation.
Natural Disasters Lack or recovery plan Very Low High Back-ups, all of the above

 

Strengths & Benefits:

  • Security measures are cheaper when implemented on a large scale.
  • Data is replicated in multiple areas – increasing redundancy and independence from failure.
  • Local network problems are less likely to have global side effects.
  • Larger scale systems can develop more effective incident response capabilities.
  • Threat management is increased since the larger corporations that own the cloud can afford the generalists to deal with specific security threats that smaller companies cannot.
  • Reduces cost of running personal servers
  • Access to better technology

Weakness and Costs:

  • External CP will depend on network bandwidth
  • Integration of variety of software, integration can be very costly
  • Different configuration panel controls, learning curve for IT department
  • Configuring mixed modes between physical, virtual & cloud
  • Reports on performance could be hidden
  • May not integrate with current management controls

Reference:

Alex Gutman and Martin Perlin. (February 2011) 8 Cloud Building Conditions You Need for Taking your Data Center to the Next Level. www.evolven.com. Retrieved from: http://www.evolven.com/blog/8-cloud-building-conditions-you-need-for-taking-your-data-center-to-the-next-level.html

Daniele Catteddu, Giles Hogben. (n.d. Cloud Computing Risk Assessment — ENISA. Retrieved from http://www.enisa.europa.eu/act/rm/files/…/cloud-computing-risk-assessment

Naushad K. Cherrayil. (October 7, 2011). Cloud computing is the future of networking retrieved from http://gulfnews.com/business/technology/cloud-computing-is-the-future-of-networking-1.886905

About Adam M. Erickson

Geek, Dad, Life-Student, Biker & DIY Enthusiast Application Developer Attended Ferris State University Lives in Muskegon, MI
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