Cloud Computing Security Considerations

The past few years have seen cloud computing grow from a niche IT sector to one of most rapidly growing segments in the industry. More and more companies are now realizing the significant cost savings the cloud offers in the form of business applications, storage and computing resources especially in the increasingly tough operating environment in the current economy.

However even as more organizations adopt use of cloud computing, concerns abound of just how secure and safe the cloud is. The Internet giant Google also a leading cloud service provider with its Google App Engine has had crippling attack on its Gmail service in Europe. Though all organizations are under risk of attacks, cloud service providers are more vulnerable given their attractiveness to cyber criminals and hackers due to the vast data they store. As such before organizations decide to move to the cloud, cloud computing security is a crucial consideration.

The biggest consideration any organization thinking of acquiring cloud services as far as cloud computing security goes of course is data protection and security. For data to be viewed as safe, a cloud provider must ensure that data of different clients is totally separated. Data also must have the capacity to flow seamlessly through different locations as per client needs. The provider should have systems that guarantee that no unauthorized or third parties can access client data. In terms of applications the cloud computing vendor should assure the software being provided as a service is secure and tested.

Also related to data protection is where it actually is located. When a company moves it’s data into the cloud, the highest probability is that they will not know where it’s hosted, even the country it’s hosted in. This is an area of huge concern in cloud computing security since data security varies from country to country.

While you might find that the EU highly respects privacy, in the US a law such as the Patriot Act gives the government unlimited power to access information and data even that of private companies. To ensure security, an organization should require the provider to divulge where the cloud computing vendor hosts their data and be well informed about how data protection laws in the hosting country work. The vendor should commit by contract to store and process data in specified jurisdictions.

Tied to this is user access. Since data is handled and processed externally by the cloud service provider, there lies a high level of risk because once an organization outsources it’s data management to the provider, it’s not possible to monitor, control and audit who accesses it. This is in contrast with in-house where internal IT controls all that. In fact this is one of the biggest concerns with cloud computing security.

Therefore, companies looking to move to the cloud should get all the information of who manages their data. They should ask for detailed information on things like qualifications of programmers, database administrators, look into risk management process of the vendor and provider’s reputation in the market. Vendors who are not upfront with this information should be avoided.

Providers also must guarantee that highly sensitive data for instance credit card numbers, digital identities, information that might be collected about the customers of the company hosted is securely masked and encrypted and only authorized users can have access to such information. Before moving to the cloud, ask the provider for specific details on especially the administrators who will have direct access to your data and user passwords.

Also companies should be alert at all times on password changes, protection and how they are assigned. They should also be very alert for any software updates done by the cloud computing provider since this could be compromising to the cloud computing security.

About Alan Tay

Alan Tay is a blogger who spend most of his time blogging and keeping in touch with all the tech stuff. Owner and founder of Cloud Storage Tips

Speak Your Mind Cancel reply