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Analyzing Security Concerns with Cloud Computing and Discovering Solutions
MAR 23, 2016 22:34 PM
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Cloud computing enables sharing of computing resources on the internet and rids the need of relying on local servers for smooth functioning of business operations. Cloud computing services are available to businesses of every size under three broad categories: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as  a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas).

Despite many known benefits of cloud computing services, like reduction of significant costs, increased productivity, scalability, agility etc,  many companies shy away from adopting computing services on the cloud. The reason is many security threats that come up with cloud computing. However, many businesses fail to realize that the security concerns with cloud computing can be effectively addressed to successfully wipe off any data breach and abrupt obstacles to their business operations.

Let’s first talk about security concerns with cloud computing

  • Data Loss
  • Data Breach
  • Insecure API
  • Malicious Insiders
  • Shared Technology Vulnerabilities
  • Availability and Reliability Issues
  • Lack of Risk Management
  • Service Abuse

A malicious attack can result into data loss for an end-user, whereas data breach can happen due to someone accessing the data even without permission by impersonating as a legitimate user. Since multiple organizations share resources on the cloud, data misuse risk is always high. Several accidental transmission issues or insider attack could also lead to data breach. Malicious insiders could be an employee or contractor misuse their position to steal highly confidential data stored in the cloud.

Image Credit: http://funnyvideoz.xyz/2016/02/21/cloud-computing-security-risks/

Cloud computing services entail sharing of platforms or applications in a multi-tenant environment, which raises the risk of shared vulnerabilities. There could be dire consequences due to even a single vulnerability. Since many companies store confidential data of their customers on the cloud, phishing or fraud could be performed by an outsider to obtain a user’s login details or other personal information.

Abuse of services by hackers is also a major security concern of many companies due to which they refrain from adopting cloud service models. The fact of the matter is that cloud computing services are attached to many security issues. Now arises a question that how a cloud consumer could bring benefits to their business without compromising on security.

Let’s get insight into possible solutions to slough off security woes related to cloud computing

  • Find established cloud service provider and sign clear contract

The first step towards ensuring security on the cloud is to find a cloud service provider that has a good track record, experience, regulation and standards. Once you finalize a reputed cloud vendor, sign a clear contract for full claim if the vendor closes. Also, make sure that the vendor has good infrastructure for installation and configuration of hardware components, like firewalls, routers, servers, proxy servers and software to ward off cyber attacks. The vendor must have sophisticated recovery facilities in case your data is lost due to certain issues.

  • Use of data encryption method

Encrypt data before you migrate it on the cloud. Encryption on data makes it impossible to read, thus secures vital information of your company and customers, which if compromised can give your competitors a great advantage and decimate the trust customers have in your company.

  • Establishment of authorization and access controls

Ask your cloud provider about how they are going to handle user access. Key management systems and encryption techniques should be brought into use to ensure that data is accessible only to valid users. External audits and security certifications make regulatory compliance even stronger to avoid any loopholes that might lead to data security issues over the cloud.

  • Integrity

Data integrity plays an important role in cloud computing to prevent any data loss. Whenever a need arises for data modification, only authorized users must be allowed to do so. For example, a lot of troubles occur with the transaction management because of HTTP services. Thus, transaction management should be implemented in the API itself.

  • Vulnerability testing

Rigorous vulnerability testing enables effective cloud security management and implementation of proactive security controls.

  • Data segregation

Since cloud computing sports multi-tenant environment, customer data is always at risk of intrusion. Therefore, it’s important that you go for data segregation to store customer’s data separately and keep the intrusion risk at bay.

  • API Insecurity

APIs are imperative in cloud computing for providing authentication, encryption, access control and other key functions. However, they are not free of security-breach risk. Thus, experts suggest to adopt sessionless security practices like HTTP authentication, token-based authentication or Web Services Security to remove vulnerabilities of APIs.

  • Data location

With cloud computing, it is difficult to trace the location of data since it is usually distributed over the number of regions. A cloud computing user must ensure that their data is stored and processed in specific jurisdiction where there are no issues with compliance and data privacy laws.

Many social media management tools, project management tools platforms, etc. are now using the cloud computing, so if you are looking forward to move your business on the cloud, then you may like to pay heed to aforementioned tips to ensure data security and flawless functioning of your business operations. Although cloud computing brings numerous benefits for a front-end user, it’s essential to follow practices that prevent data breach/loss. If you have any additional inputs about how to deal with data security issues in cloud computing, please share them in the comment box below.

Author Bio

Manoj Rawat, a Tech Geek, Blogger, Innovator working in the Information Technology world for more than 7 years. He hold good expertise with various Growth Hacking, Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Data Research and Analysis, etc. He has also a good knowledge of different web & mobile technologies including PHP, Java, Html, etc. His short stories on various technology topics have appeared in numerous publications, including Data Science Central, Big Bata made Simple, MyTechlogy, LogicSimplified, Evon Tech, Tricky Mind Solutions etc.

LIN: https://in.linkedin.com/in/manoj-rawat-54805421

Tw : https://twitter.com/manojrawat77       

G+ : https://plus.google.com/+ManojRawatInternetMarketer

 

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