Why is cloud security such a big challenge?

Why is there so much buzz about cloud computing security on the Internet? Well, let me ask you this - how comfortable would you feel entrusting your neighbor staying at the far end of the road, you barely know, with your precious box of gems and jewels under lock and key? Of course that’s going to give you a couple of sleepless nights and it isn’t going to make much difference even if you know that your neighbor has a really solid home security system! The same thing applies to cloud computing security.

Yes, there have been instances in the past and then Google and salesforce.com have failed to protect customer data and even though they have apologized for their poor security measures, the business owners who entrusted these companies with their precious data did end up biting the dust. So, whenever a cloud computing company tells you that they are going to keep your data ironclad, you need to take that with a pinch of salt.

The security offered by our cloud computing company is only as good as the people who have access to the secure data. It is true that it is not always the people who are to be blamed, but then machines and in this case remote servers are maintained by people and since you are actually paying for keeping your data ironclad, who else would you blame? That does not mean that cloud computing is not worth its money and every cloud computing customer ends up being a broke.

The more advanced cloud computing service providers have multiple security layers protecting precious data and it is near to impossible to try and hack into subsystems and scavenge on customer information. But, the problem lies when data is transferred from one user to another or when new data is stored on the servers. The iron boxes that are supposed to protect your data are only capable of protecting your data then it’s not moving around and is static - the moment your data gets transferred, it gets exposed to the elements, in this case hackers and that is when it becomes most vulnerable.

In the case of many cloud computing service providers, security is handled by third parties. Under such circumstances, the third-party has access (not officially though) to your data and who knows if an employee and the security company might be benefited by your data immensely?

The other problem with the computing security is the downtime involved whenever the service provider fails to pose as a good watchdog. Even if they offer excellent backup facilities, some severe downtime might actually take a toll on your business. So, even though it might not sound the sane to go through each and every line off of cloud computing service statement, it is actually advisable because that’s going to tell you about the kind of downtime you might expect if there’s a security breach. There is nothing wrong in asking about it up front as well.

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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