Like any other aspect of IT, cloud based services feature risks that companies must account for as soon as they can. Roger Grimes wrote on InfoWorld that one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of cloud computing solutions is that many companies lack comprehensive understanding of the risks they will face. However, once they know the average threats posed to their organization, security professionals or an IT infrastructure management service should be able to take them head on.

The first risk is that of shared access, which he said is an unknown for most companies due to having to split resources.

"Multitenancy security issues are just now becoming important to most of us, and the vulnerabilities within are starting to be explored," Grimes wrote. "The best precursor example is a single website placed on a Web server with hundreds or even thousands of other, unrelated websites. If history is any guide - it usually is - multitenancy will be a big problem over the long haul."

Another risk that companies need to address shore up is the effect virtual exploits can have. Grimes wrote that businesses need to ask their providers questions to make sure their security is up to par, including who patches the virtualization host, who can log into the system and what software they run to help with security. This should enable business to gain a bigger picture of how their cloud environments are being handled.

Other risks to shore up as quickly as possible include:
- Figure out authentication and access control as quickly as possible, as having too many people with access to the cloud can be a leak waiting to happen
- Ensure that the solution will be available at all times and that downtime will not be an issue 
- Make sure the company owns the data that is being put into the cloud, as some providers like to have ownership change hands once it enters their solution

Government Health IT said there are a few steps companies need to take before making their way into cloud based services, including first determining their own risk factors, classifying their data to make sure the information that needs the most security gets it, choosing the cloud carefully and reviewing jurisdictional issues of the cloud. Companies should also have a plan in place just in case a breach does take place, including how and when they will notify any individuals who are affected and how the company can get back on its feet afterward.