Cloud computing doesn't offer companies a free ride when it comes to security. A Gartner report released last year identified concerns about risks in several areas, such as data privacy and integrity and compliance management, that should give pause to anyone thinking about rushing into cloud computing.
"Enterprises, particularly those in regulated industries, need to weigh both the business benefits and risks of cloud computing services," warns Jay Heiser, a Gartner analyst.
One of cloud computing's biggest risks arises from its very nature: It allows data to be sent and stored just about anywhere--even divided among locations around the world. While data dispersion helps give cloud computing a cost and performance edge, the downside is that business information can land in storage systems in locales where privacy laws are loose or even nonexistent.
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