The delivery of various services has gained its popularity today through cloud computing, consisting of data storage, networking, software, servers and databases. Information can now be stored in a remote location and easily accessed on-demand, which doesn’t require direct active management by the user itself. And according to an IDG cloud computing survey, 92% of businesses are hosts to cloud computing. Cloud computing is an indispensable conduit for the growth of most businesses.
However, with the instant delivery of such computer system resources, including by not limited to data storage, and computing power, there emerges privacy challenges. Some of the privacy challenges and issues that we see today have been discussed below.
Problems with Data Privacy on Cloud Platforms
Data Confidentiality and Access
A major aspect of privacy includes the confidentiality and the accessibility of the information itself. The information that businesses accumulate from their users is extremely sensitive and which makes them susceptible to unauthorized access seekers, which could lead to an increased risk of a security threat over cloud servers. According to statistics published by CyberTalk, 83% of cloud-based security take place because of access vulnerabilities. This is a serious challenge for even a well established cloud service provider. The requirement to maintain confidentiality and authorized managerial accessibility to sensitive user information is by implementing stringent access control policies and regulations.
Threat of Data Breach
With the rapid emergence of cloud computing and the storage facility, the focus is on the user’s data which is the essence for cloud service providers. According to the IDC cloud security survey, in the past 1.5 years, 79% of businesses have experienced at least one cloud data breach. Data is the new currency and hence, the biggest security challenge that any cloud service provider deals with today is the loss of data. The issue with the cloud is that even if one storage component is compromised, it will be easy for a hacker to gain access to the remaining storage units as well.
Geographical Factor of Data Storage
While cloud computing is another step towards closing the time gap for information access for businesses and teamwork, it poses various privacy concerns at the same time. Cloud service providers usually have multiple servers located in multiple regions across the world, because of which users may face difficulty in exercising their legal rights associated with new data privacy laws, such as the right to be forgotten or data mobility. According to Morrison Foerster data, privacy laws were present in 133 jurisdictions around the world in 2021. And most prominent data privacy laws such as the EU’s The General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act(CCPA) have extraterritorial clauses, which provides legal coverage to user information as long as the information is collected from the EU or California users, irrespective of where the business or service provider is located.
Unauthorized usage of Data and Transparency
Data is the new currency, and the secondary use of data accumulated by service providers can act as a decent source of income, such as from targeted advertising and selling of data to third parties. How the user information is being used, should be presented to the user itself in an organized and easily comprehensible manner in order to attain the trust of the user. According to an IBM study on cybersecurity, 70% of users would not consider purchasing the products and services of businesses where they believe their privacy is not being taken for granted and that their sensitive personal information is not being protected. The lack of trust between the user and the cloud service provider is potentially a huge risk factor for the business. As the user awareness increases regarding individual data privacy, their demand for the safekeeping of their information has become an ever evolving challenge for the cloud service providers.
With remote working now on a rapid rise since the beginning of the pandemic, the topic of cloud computing is being widely discussed, even though the gradual migration to cloud computing has been present since a decade or so. The cloud lures in the benefits of reduced costs, flexibility and productivity. However, in order to extract the most out of the use of cloud, privacy and security measures need to be properly implemented, not doing so could also expose a business to a series of cyber attacks and data breaches.