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Cloud Computing Security

Introduction

Cloud computing security was brought into limelight after a few notable breaches took place around the world. Any loose end with cloud computing security risks the entire data getting in the wrong hands. It is thus essential to safeguard servers underpinning the cloud. Cloud hosting services have been long touted for their top-notch reliability and accessibility. But at the provider’s end itself, loopholes have emerged after several organizations broke into the network.

 

What kind of problem does cloud computing pose?

Data on a private network is secure from unauthorized access. This is because users can access this data only when connected to the network. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is connected through a much larger and open global network called the internet.

Therefore, cloud server is as much accessible to a hacker as it is to you. This puts a lot of pressure in an otherwise fragile security system. First, the actors behind malicious attacks are proficient enough to discover loopholes and exploit them. Second, they may permanently gain access to the network without you having a clue of it.

The problems do not end here. There have been instances where cloud providers were caught prying on users’ data. Though, this should not ideally be a problem, but who knows the vendor may use your files for added perks.

 

Cloud security – the need

Cloud computing and security are two different domains, although interlinked. The latter is an evolving sub-domain of the computer or network security. It refers to the set of control-based technologies and policies that are specially designed to adhere to regulatory compliance rules for the protection of information, data applications and infrastructure related to cloud computing use.

Due to the cloud's basic feature of shared resources, identity management, privacy and access control are the main issues of concern. As several organizations are adapting to cloud computing and are associated with cloud providers for data operations, appropriate security measures in potential and vulnerable areas have become a priority for IT firms. However, your data stays well protected and safe as your cloud provider stays on a higher scale of reliability. With proper planning and due diligence at the time of selecting a cloud hosting service provider, such risks can be mitigated.

 

Is cloud computing more secure?

Physical servers are the benchmark when it comes to security. Though a few cloud services are as secure as dedicated servers, the same would not be true for all cloud services. The bottom line is, security depends upon your provider and the architecture at place.

However, with the advancement in technology, virtualization and cloud have become comparably secure.

 

How can we solve the security problem in clouds?

First off, we need to revamp our cloud computing security architecture. Notwithstanding that significant research has been done in the field, we are still to catch up with a lot.

Second, firewall systems need to be made more robust. Configuring firewall checkpoint at network entry and exit was a commendable achievement, nevertheless.

Third, security applications such as antivirus should be made more adept for cloud technologies.

Finally, 24/7 monitoring should be done. Networks that are perused are 3 times less likely to undergo an attack. Even though computer systems can identify malware in the network, human intervention is often required to decide what action needs to be taken.

 

Advantages of securing cloud network

The advantages of troubleshooting cloud computing security issues are numerous. However, if we were to categorize these perks, it would be as under –

- Fault tolerance and reliability

- Great resiliency

- Low-cost data recovery

- On-demand security controls

 

Cloud computing security architecture

Security architecture refers to the various components in the database, applications, software that are engineered so as to form an interconnected system that helps secure cloud servers.

As with every other architecture, cloud security has two components viz. hardware and applications (software).

 

The various components have been listed under the relevant categories below –

- Hardware

        - Firewall

        - Network monitors

        - Encrypted server

        - Access-based routers

- Software

        - Firewall (available as both hardware and software)

        - Antivirus

        - Login panel

        - Gateway (to bridge connection between front-end API with the servers)

        - Monitoring

        - Anti-malware

        - Encryption technologies & request-based access

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