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Security in the Cloud: Is Vulnerability Still an Issue?

Cloud SecurityWhen cloud technologies were first introduced a few years ago, one of the biggest concerns was the vulnerability of information that was stored or accessible from cloud computing servers. That was quickly overshadowed by the incredible benefits the cloud offered such as increased storage, improved accessibility with BYOD, saved cost and more effective IT systems.

Now as more and more businesses transition to cloud based services and it is predicted the cloud will be a $118 billion dollar industry in the year 2020, some are still asking if vulnerability is still an issue.

Who is Responsible for Security in the Cloud?

Security on the cloud is divided into two parts that affect all cloud-based service users. The first is directed to cloud providers. These providers often offer cloud services such as Software as a Service (SaaS,) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). It is the job of these providers to protect their client’s mass amounts of information and data.

The second security concern lies with the customer. Customers worry that through cloud providers, their information will be lost, stolen, hacked or even used by competing companies. However, in truth security concerns can lie with both parties by the providers doing all they can to secure information on the public cloud and the consumer using passwords and proper security measures to protect their information when it’s accessible through cloud computing technologies.

Are There Vulnerabilities in Cloud Computing Security?

Truthfully, all information is vulnerable. Whether it has been locked away in a safe, written on a page or posted online, most items can be accessed if a hacker wants them bad enough. However, security on the cloud has been increased and many providers are directing their attention to increasing security further.

The Senior VP of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, David Small had this to say about his industry’s drive to better security, “The race is on to protect every endpoint, every device and everything connected to the Internet. While the Internet affords us countless opportunity, it also comes with a price. No longer is strong security an option; it’s a mandatory requirement for all organizations to protect their intellectual and physical capital, customer identities and society at large.”

In response to the question if there are vulnerabilities in cloud computing software, the answer is yes, but providers are taking the initiatives to protect their client’s information from end to end.

How Customers Are Tightening Security

As we saw above, security on the cloud needs to be addressed by both the consumer and the provider. Providers are racing to continue securing the cloud, but what are customers doing to protect their information on the public cloud? Some are changing up passwords and tightening down on who has access to company information while others are converting to a private cloud or even a hybrid cloud computing security services.

  • Changing Passwords

Some of the most commonly used (and most hack-able) passwords include access IDs like “password,” “passw0rd,” “baseball” and “123456.” For business owners and cloud customers looking to protect their information on a public cloud, it is wise to be more selective with password choice and choose passwords with capital letters, numbers, symbols and non-relatable words.

  • Using the Right Infrastructure

The public cloud is a great resource for many businesses and users but some corporations are finding it beneficial to convert their cloud-based services to a private or hybrid cloud. Private clouds are computing infrastructures that are designed to only allow access from a company network and employees. This decreases the chance of hacking and unprotected information. Some organizations will take it a step further and implement using a hybrid cloud.

This keeps sensitive information in in-house data centers and outsources other things like software or a need to handle (scalability) large projects to the cloud. This protects sensitive information and still allows these businesses to utilize the best of cloud benefits and services.

Security in the Cloud

With both providers and consumers working towards solutions in cloud security, the vulnerability of information in the cloud is more protected and still provides those using cloud-based services with all the benefits cloud computing.

 

Sources:

http://www.formtek.com/blog/?p=3512

http://www.iprodeveloper.com/article/security/public-cloud-security-698785

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing_security

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