Though the core concept of cloud computing has been around for much longer than most people would have you believe, it’s probably more correct to comment that as consumers of the web, we are adopting a larger number of cloud empowered web services today, as compared to yesterday. Note that there are three distinct services on offer which are, namely, Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), with each having their unique protocols for security and infrastructure.
The Critical Question of Cloud Security
While ‘cloud’ is envisaged as an amorphous force that dramatically improves the delivery of technology in any form, it’s time to also acknowledge that all cloud based models are marred by security gaps and threats. Nefarious activities and data invasion threats are almost an offshoot of this increasing buzz about the cloud model, and this has led industry experts to question the viability of using cloud-based platforms in the first place. Data security breaches at Target and Ashley Madison are just some of the many instances which have added fuel to the fire, with a global outcry against data security and cloud encryption systems trusted by most cloud technologies.
The Way Ahead
Intrusion detection systems, security information and event management systems, cloud control matric and CSA star rating exercises are among the most talked about cloud safety technologies. However, the best option is a client-side encryption gateway which can prevent CSPs from hacking content, protect against insecure APIs that create further system vulnerabilities, and mitigate risks usually associated with cloud computing. Several companies as well as the internationally acclaimed McAfee Personal Locker data service have previously used such security measures to protect data from potential security vulnerabilities. These provide real-life examples of how additional encryption can prevent the theft of data, loss of privacy and other conditions arising from the use of the cloud.
Real Case Studies that Drive Home the Impact of Cloud Vulnerabilities
Data breaches are not only potentially harmful in terms of information leakage: they have led to losses of millions of dollars to unsuspecting SMBs and large businesses. Did you know – hackers can set up virtual machines to collect data from cloud servers, tricking machines to believe they were transferring data to their own systems. Additionally, DoS attacks also target cloud systems and can wipe out entire networks within minutes. In 2014 alone, iCloud, Dropbox, JPMorgan Chase and SONY became victims of such attacks, leading to data leaks and multiple security threats. Indeed, if we’ve discovered anything from the Snowden exposition, it is the fact that even a security organization such as the NSA is not 100% safe.
The Buzzing Concern – Cloud Security
The question is: how can ordinary users and businesses be safe on the cloud? This has led industry experts to come up with newer ways of challenging cloud security breaches, using technology to curb the rise in cyber-crime. According to a Science Direct thesis by D. Zissis, one possible solution is the use of a Trusted Third Party encryption that is assigned the task of ensuring security characteristics within a particular cloud-based system environment. This solution utilizes a combination of cryptography, SSO, LDAP, authentication protocols and public key infrastructures to provide greater confidentiality systems.