clouds

Security in cloud hosting terms indirectly addresses availability, confidentiality and integrity.

Security is one single aspect that can cause the undoing of cloud hosting. As it is entirely integrated with the internet, it inevitably faces loads of challenges and vulnerabilities.

Most importantly, it is in the hands of the cloud hosting providers to calmly deal with the various security challenges they face on a daily basis as they have to maintain their client base such that there are no margins for error.

1. Data Integrity

When data is present on a cloud, it can be accessed by anyone even if it is labeled as private. Confidential data might mingle with other end users at a regular basis. Cloud doesn’t differentiate between privileged data and common data thathamper privacy to an extent which might prove detrimental to gaining user approval.

From an enterprise to the cloud, it is the responsibility of the hosting providers to make sure that this transition goes smoothly without any loss of critical information.

2. Data Theft

Many cloud users tend to lease a server from cloud service providers instead of acquiring one, so that the onus is on those providers to perform and deliver with the added benefits of cost effectiveness and flexibility of operation. This way the users lose control over their own system and data can be very easily stolen or disruptedby an external malicious user and the blame finally rests on the respective provider’s shoulders.

3. Data loss and Privacy Issues

Cloud hosting providers need to be extra cautious while handling the user data as any loss of data is a complete deal-breaker. They need to be wary of any accidental deletion and mishaps that might occur.

It is all in the hands of the vendors regarding the extent of the data transparency they desire. It is the duty of the users to communicate effectively with their providers so as to assure that their personal information is well intact and safe from other operators or providers. Servers being external make it tough for vendors to keep tabs as to who all access their data in turn compromising confidentiality.

4. Data Location

Because of cloud hosting’s virtual nature, customers are never aware of their data’s whereabouts as they might be physically located on a server halfway across the globe. This physical security or a guarantee per se needs to be provided by the cloud hosting providers as they are the ones assigning the user data and integrating it with the cloud.

5. System boundaries

Unlike conventional computing environments where the resources are put together in a strictly defined system boundary, a cloud traditionally is limitless. It may incorporate fluid system boundaries which are a bit complex in nature depending on the deployment model chosen.

The main feature of a cloud i.e. virtualization disregards system boundaries and focuses on data and applications. Hence, this further rings alarm bells when it comes to security. Sometimes, user data might pass through non secure networks in which case the service providers should counterpunch with encryption algorithms and appropriate firewall components.

6. Insecure API’s

API (Application Programming Interface) keys are used by cloud and web services to identify third party applications using those services which are meant to be private otherwise. The control of these keys lies with the service providers who need to maximize security against hackers or malicious pseudo-users who might cause a denial of service (D-O-S) or make transactions on the actual user’s behalf.

7. Cyber Crime

Tackling cyber crime is the biggest challenge being faced by the cloud hosting providers on a daily basis. Data breaching, false identities and account hijacking acquire a large portion of the whole cyber crime scenario.

Sometimes, vulnerabilities or anomalies are laid down by the service providers in the cloud infrastructure, the ripples of which cause cloud service abuse, and threats by malicious insiders or an unplanned cloud usage.

Conclusion

The benefits of cloud hosting don’t come without its pitfalls. All these real time challenges faced by the cloud hosting providers prove that cloud hosting in the real world is still in its adolescence when it comes to usage and implementation.

Renuka RanaAuthor Bio:

Renuka Rana, Editor at MyRealData spends considerable part of her time in writing about technology including cloud hosting, Hosted PBX and QuickBooks hosting. When not writing, she loves to dig deeper into knowing the best and the latest technology in industry.

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