Risks of cloud computing

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People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they? People feared coal; they fearedgas-powered engines. There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come toaccept their silicon masters.

From a spoof interview with Bill Gates,
Microsoft Chairman, 2000

It is amazing how this completely fake and outlandish ‘quote’ has spread around the internet, but I could not resist
reproducing it here. It is true that the further removed we become from technology the more we initially feel the lack
of control, but eventually we get used to it. Nevertheless there are genuinely good reasons why you should not take
cloud computing lightly and this chapter addresses a number of risks that you should take account of before moving any of your business data or systems into a public cloud. These risks include internal security breaches; cloud security breaches; data protection risks; system outages; data loss; vendor lock-in and vendor failure. Appetites for risk vary from business to business and industry to industry but the risk calculator included at the end of this chapter should help you decide whether a particular risk is worth taking.