7 Frightening Aspects of the Public Cloud

On Halloween you expect to be frightened, right? Of course!AdobeStock_140463143 But what you don’t expect is getting that spine-tingling chill from your public cloud provider. Below we have listed 7 of the top reasons that the public cloud is scarier than any monster on Halloween!

  1. Non-compliance: If you’re in an industry that requires you to be compliant, partnering with a public cloud giant (like Azure or AWS) can make that task insufferable. For government and law enforcement agencies, they must follow the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) regulations, in healthcare they have the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, and payment processors must follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance regulations. Having someone ensure that your organization remains compliant (with rules that can change frequently) is a full-time job when you aren’t partnered with a reputable provider that guarantees industry compliance. And if your data is with a public cloud giant, it may be nearly impossible to know if it is or not (which will end with you being penalized for non-compliance).
  2. Downtime: Downtime is a problem, no matter your industry. While downtime isn’t 100% avoidable, it’s how your provider handles it, and how quickly they can get you back up and running that matters. Public cloud giants aren’t always the best at handling downtime. Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure have been known to suffer from downtime's ranging from several minutes, to several hours. And when time is money, several hours is unacceptable. It is very important to fully examine this process when selecting a provider to ensure that you are on the same page with Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO).
  3. Breaches/Ransomware/Cyber-Attacks: With ransomware expected to surpass $8 billion this year, and an attack striking a business every 14 seconds, organizations should be, and are, worried. Cloud giants like Google, AWS and Azure are big targets, too. Breaches can take down hundreds of thousands of users in one fell swoop. Just ask Google, in March 2018 they discovered a breach that affected roughly 500,000 users.
  4. Hotel California Effect: Public cloud repatriation is a pretty common occurrence these days. So we’ve decided to name it the “Hotel California Effect” because of the how difficult it is to leave. Typically, when uploading your data to a cloud provider there is no cost, but when you decide that you want your data back, they may charge you thousands of dollars to do so. A practice that is shady at best. Additionally, they aren’t required to give your data back to you in the same fashion that you gave it to them, which could leave you with data that is unusable.  
  5. Pricing Changes: One of the biggest complaints about public cloud giants are the frequent pricing changes. If you’re the one trying to manage the budget while your company’s data is in the public cloud, good luck, that can be a full-time job. For one, the terms used can make it difficult to understand the bill, but even more frustrating is that they change their pricing structures often. AWS alone has made 62 changes to their pricing structure in 12 years. How is anyone supposed to budget or plan with changes happening that often?
  6. Lack of Control: While you do have some control over your environment with a public cloud provider, you don’t have control over everything. Because the very nature of the public cloud is shared infrastructure, the provider must retain control over some features. This can make some IT teams wary, as relinquishing control may not be what is best for their organization.
  7. Lack of Security: Most of the public cloud giants only offer Infrastructure as a Service and nothing else. This leaves a gap where security should be. While some users are aware of the lack of security on their providers end and take measure to protect themselves, others aren’t, which leaves them at a greater risk for data loss.

 Don’t let this frighten you too much. While the public cloud can be a very scary place, the cloud in and of itself doesn’t have to be. Moving your workloads to the cloud can make your business faster, more profitable and better protected. It’s just about choosing a partner you trust, and always reading the fine print. If you are in an industry that doesn’t require you to follow compliance guidelines, and you aren’t putting critical business data in the cloud, a public cloud giant might work for you. But, if you need to meet compliance regulations, have control over your data, have little to no downtime, and need to know that your bill isn’t going to change every month, you might want to partner with a reputable Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) provider. When you do that, all the apprehension, fear, and shock will be removed from the equation.

DSM is Florida’s predictable cloud provider, and we’re here to delight-not fright! Our cloud offerings are designed for business, healthcare, and government, meeting compliance standards and exceeding industry standards for uptime and recovery. Interested in learning more? Speak with one of our IT experts today and we promise-no tricks, only treats.

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