Why The Cloud Is As Secure As Your PC

Why the Cloud Is As Secure

Recently, a great portion of hype in the technology sector is related to cloud computing security and reliability. Recent service interruptions experienced by leading cloud services providers like Amazon, in combination with security issues and credential leaks that occurred in services delivered by Sony and Google’s Android operating systems raised questions about the overall security and safety of cloud-based solutions.

There is no simple or straightforward answer to the question whether the Cloud is a secure place for storing data, conducting transactions and maintaining corporate databases. Moreover, one should distinguish between private, public and hybrid clouds used to store corporate data run business applications. Most security experts agree that cloud-based solutions are as secure as offline software and storage products and services that run in a corporate environment, on a corporate server and are isolated from external networks.

Actually, a private cloud i.e. most clouds deployed by enterprises, small and large ones alike, can experience downtime as often as public clouds like those offered by Google and Amazon, for example. Private, public and hybrid clouds utilize infrastructure, hardware and software that is similar to the ones used in corporate private networks; therefore, IT specialists face the same problems in a “traditional” and a cloud environment. Over 200,000 Google’s Gmail users saw their email accounts emptied in a day, loosing emails and other documentation they archived for years. However, corporate users could experience the same troubles should a company server crash, deleting data stored in their corporate email accounts. No one is insured against hardware faults and Google later admitted that the mysterious loss of data occurred due to a combination of hardware and software faults.

The human factor should not be underestimated, too.

Government agencies around the world avoid using cloud services offered by corporate providers because of the risks related to Data leaks and data protection in the Cloud. Actually, most reputable providers of cloud services apply strict data and software access policies similar to those implemented by Government bodies. On the other hand, data leaks within the government-run companies and agencies occur more frequently than information leaks originating from corporations. If an American sergeant managed to transfer sources to Wikileaks, thousands of classified government cables stored within the U.S. Army computer networks, one should bet that the same can happen to myriads of files and emails stored in public cloud services. The greatest danger is related to targeted attacks and business espionage while individual users should beware mostly of identity theft.

Reliability of cloud services is another issue that should be taken into account. A growing number of providers offer cloud services and products while Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) are now commonly used to reduce corporate costs. Other enterprises rely on Infrastructure-as-a-Service to run their business but in all these scenarios business depends on external resources to run smoothly their everyday operations.

Thus, reliability of cloud products and services is now a major issue while many IT specialists admit they are not convinced in the reliability of cloud solutions deployed within their respective organizations. For example, an enterprise greatly reduces its software licensing fees and payroll costs by deploying a cloud software platform but such a solution can cost dearly if the PaaS provider does not offer an acceptable reaction time in case of malfunctions and service faults.

Once again, the same troubles can occur in a “traditional” software environment where a platform is not supported in an appropriate manner or a company lacks experienced IT staff. Connection and processing speed is also a concern when the issue in hand is cloud computing but this can be subject to a separate article.

In reality, the Cloud is as secure and safe as is a personal computer connected to a closed corporate network, provided that the network is maintained by well-trained specialists and all available and applicable security and safety measures are implemented. No complete security is available in an interconnected environment where practically all devices and gadgets are able to connect to a sort of network.

Apart from imperfections offered by software and hardware, the human factor is still the main threat to security and safety in the Cloud.

By Kiril Kirilov

MIT
Smart Manufacturing Startups AI and machine learning's potential to drive greater visibility, control, and insight across shop floors while monitoring machines and processes in real-time continue to attract venture capital. $62 billion is now invested ...
Security Breach 10 Useful Cloud Security Tools
Cloud Security Tools Cloud providing vendors need to embed cloud security tools within their infrastructure. They should not emphasize keeping high uptime at the expense of security. Cloud computing has become a business solution for ...
Gary Bernstein
Managing Your Internal IT Your company's internal IT team is responsible for keeping things running smoothly, and they deserve all the support you can give them. Here are ten ways to make their lives easier ...
James Corbishly
Teams Sprawl in the Remote Workspace As working from home has become the new everyday norm, with more employers embracing the remote-work model as a new and likely permanent fixture of the employment world, there ...
Wealth Management Software Solutions - ServiceNow
Financial wealth management services (Updated: 06/29/2022) Many want to live in abundance, but very few people have what it takes to harness true wealth. True wealth is harnessed through the effective management of resources. Despite ...
  • Plural Site

    Pluralsite

    Pluralsight provides online courses on popular programming languages and developer tools. Other courses cover fields such as IT security best practices, server infrastructure, and virtualization.

  • Isc2

    ISC2

    (ISC)² provides IT training, certifications, and exams that run online, on your premises, or in classrooms. Self-study resources are available. You can also train groups of 10 or more of your employees. If you want a job in cybersecurity, this is the route to take.

  • App Academy

    App Academy

    Immersive software engineering programs. No experience required. Pay $0 until you're hired. Join an online info session to learn more

  • Cybrary

    Cybrary

    CYBRARY Open source Cyber Security learning. Free for everyone, forever. The world's largest cyber security community. Cybrary provides free IT training and paid IT certificates. Courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users are available.