Introduction to Cloud Computing Security Challenges
Without any doubt, technology has had a significant impact on the success of many businesses today. One aspect of technology that has revolutionized the business environment is the cloud computing technology.
It has quickly become the cornerstone that digitally transformed many ventures. Cloud computing technology has leveraged virtualization to give businesses much-needed data storage and computing power. Companies do not need to feel any pressure to manage the data by themselves.
Indeed, this technology has been of great help to businesses. It has ensured cost-effectiveness in data storage and made data backups and recoveries that keep and ensure data safety.
However, with all the benefits that it has brought forth, cloud computing has not always had a soft ride. Cloud technology encompasses many technologies, including databases, virtualization, networks, and resource scheduling.
All these components present different security threats to cloud technology. Risks such as data theft and data loss are common to cloud technology. It is the sole responsibility of all cloud service providers to ensure that their customers do not face such problems.
Several issues that are related to cloud security have emerged. With proper measures in place, these issues can be appropriately dealt with. This article has highlighted some of the security issues related to cloud computing and solutions that can help mitigate such security issues when executed.
Clouded Vision Security Issue
Just like in weather forecasting, clouds indicate that there might be a risk of a storm. Cloud computing has gained a lot of popularity, especially in the recent past; this has led to many operating concerns.
One major problem presented by cloud technology is the IT team’s inability to keep track of the data, its location, and who is accessing it within the organization. According to a study report conducted by Ixia titled The State of Cloud Monitoring, cloud technology users’ top priority is to gain visibility into their cloud assets.
However, according to the report, less than 20% of all surveyed indicated that they could not properly monitor their cloud assets. This is a big problem with cloud technology.
Companies and organizations that migrate to cloud computing soon find it extremely hard to keep track of their cloud vision. The reason is the excessive freedom given to each department and individuals within the organization to deploy and use Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and Software as a service (SaaS) solution.
Such kind of freedom presents a threat to the cloud computing system as ill-motive insiders can easily take advantage of such an opportunity.
Proper security protocols should be put in place to instigate the threats posed by cloud visions. The security solutions should be built specifically for the cloud computing environment.
For instance, a security system includes an auto-discovery system through the Application Programming Interface (API) that could be of the essence. It will allow you to keep track of your servers, networks, workloads, and other cloud computing system components and help keep your cloud computing systems from shadow IT risks.
Just ensure that you come up with a full-stack security tool that can give an accurate view of the correlated threats between your business premises and your cloud computing infrastructure.
Data Security and Privacy Protection Issue
Data breaches are always a big problem in the technology world. The cloud computing sector becomes even more problematic because data is in different places around the globe.
Privacy protection and data protection against theft and loss are two pertinent issues of concern to the data owners. To increase its popularity and adoption, data breaches and privacy concerns should be dealt with adequately.
The fact that the cloud is shared between so many users makes data security a primary concern to data users. Cloud vendors are doing all they can to ensure that user data is protected.
However, it is still not enough because the confidentiality of data is often at risk. Cyber attackers can stage several attacks on cloud computing systems, which makes the whole system vulnerable.
Such attacks range from password guessing attacks, shoulder surfing attacks, phishing attacks, and man-in-the-middle attacks, among others.
One crucial security tool that has proved to be a silver lining for the many cloud computing threats is the SSL certificate. SSL has been said to be the perfect security protocol in cloud technology.
As you might already be aware, the SSL certificate is used to create a safe passage for information transfers between the web servers and web browsers.
It prevents any form of data tampering in between these information transfers. An SSL certificate will provide the required encryption for the data stored or the data in transit by establishing an encrypted session in cloud computing.
Sure enough, the integration of an SSL certificate in the cloud computing environment has brought forth several advantages for data security. One perfect SSL certificate that has been efficient in cloud computing is the Comodo Instant SSL Wildcard Certificate.
It enables the data between the server and the browser with an assurance that no one else can read or alter the information as it travels.
Data Locality and Regional Issue
Within the cloud computing system, data travels around the globe in minutes. Data will be distributed over a series of regions, making it challenging to find the data’s real location.
The major problem associated with these overseas and regional data transfers is the rules that govern the data in different countries. Different countries have different rules that govern data transfers and data storage. This results in compliance issues.
A user can unknowingly fail to comply with the data regulations rules set within a specific country. Cloud service providers should make it their role to inform the users about their data’s exact location and the data rules and regulations, and storage laws pertaining to the said location.
Account Hijacking and Unauthorized Access
The primary cause of intrusion and data loss in cloud computing technology is unauthorized access by valid user accounts. Unauthorized accesses are usually caused by password thefts, phishing, and social engineering threats.
The best solution to this problem is to use strong and unique passwords in securing your cloud data and accounts. There are specific characteristics that can be used to define a strong password.
For instance, a strong password should be a blend of both numbers, letters, and symbols. Password length is also a critical factor. An ideal password length should be about eight to ten characters in length.
Attacks that emerge from within the organization’s premises is a big threat in the cloud computing world. It is something that you cannot afford to take lightly.
Insiders, who are majorly the organization’s employees, can pose a great danger if they decide to attack your cloud computing systems.
Insider threats are usually tough to detect and thus very hard to instigate. Just normal access to your cloud computing data can be a no cause for alarm.
By the time it is detected, the extent of the harm will be extremely large. Proper measures that can be used to prevent insider attacks should be put in place.
One way to stop the insider threats in cloud computing is by putting in place a robust access control. The principle of the least privilege should come into play. Only those who have business with the data and cloud assets should be allowed to access the data.
Read more about Cloud Technology
The fact that the cloud system is made to be resilient by nature does not make it immune to data loss threats. Cloud servers can fail, the hardware components can stop working, and your data files may end up getting lost in such situations. Simply said, the problem of data loss is not completely mitigated in cloud computing.
There is only one way of solving this data threat. It is through carrying out regular file backups. It is essential to have both a remote backup plan and an offline backup plan. This offers maximum security against cloud data losses. A backup is the only place that you will run when a data loss occurs. It is like an insurance scheme or a form of a contingency plan.
Cloud computing has proved to be of great essence. It is one of the best innovations that ever happened in the technology world. Most companies and organizations are now adopting cloud computing to reap from the many benefits that cloud computing brings forth.
However, cloud computing is not immune to the many security threats that the internet is facing today. With proper measures in place, cloud computing can remain a haven. This article has discussed some of the security concerns that cloud computing technology is facing today and the measures that can be put in place to prevent those concerns.