Cloud computing is fast gaining speed as a way to store all of your data and software on the virtual networks set up by the cloud hosting providers. However, something that anyone who works in the cloud should be aware of is cloud computing security. Smart consumers who are considering moving their personal data to a cloud server need to ask some hard questions about cloud computing safety and cloud computing privacy issues.
Some of the areas of concern in cloud computing security and cloud computing safety the integrity of the data, how to recover your data if the virtual servers go off line, privacy issues, and an array of legal issues like complying with current regulations, auditing the cloud servers and e-discovery.
If you are considering getting into the cloud hosting area, you need to make sure that the cloud hosting vendor you choose gives you all the details on their cloud computing security, safety and privacy issues. Don’t let them hold back, and if they try, go on to the next vendor. You don’t need to risk identity theft!
What Should You Look For in Cloud Computing Security?
Want to know what to look for when it comes to cloud computing safety or cloud computing privacy issues? Here are just some of the topics to consider:
1. Access of any privileged users. Any data that could be considered sensitive that is processed from outside the cloud is risky and you need to know everything there is to know about who manages your data. Customers have the right to ask their hosting company about the hiring, and oversight of privileged administrators who may have access to your info.
This issue could develop into clear violations of privacy and if misused, could make customers liable for identity theft. In turn, it could make a business’ data accessible to the wrong people and set up their customers for identity theft. This makes the cloud computing privacy issues a top priority that must be addressed.
2. Obey Regulations. Cloud computing hosts must subject themselves to external audits and security certifications. If your vendor doesn’t want to do this, then you really can’t use them for much information. Even though consumers are in reality who should watch out for the security of their private information, it’s being held by your provider and you have a right to know how well their cloud computing security is going to take care of it when you aren’t able to do so.
3. Where is your data actually located? Most cloud users don’t even know where their data is actually stored. It could even be in a foreign country! In order to preserve your cloud computing safety and keep your cloud computing privacy issues private, you need your data to be stored in a location that follows specific guidelines and regulations.
Cloud computing security regulations are different in different locations, and you want the ones in place that will best protect your data and personal information and files. One vendor that does give its customers this info and lets their clients choose where their data is stored is Google. This is a very good option, and could mean that Google gets more customers unless the other cloud vendors follow suit and do the same.
4. Data separation. If you store data in a cloud arena, it is probably being stored with other people or businesses’ information. Even if you encrypt it, that doesn’t protect it 100 percent. Your vendor should be able to show you exactly what they have designed to keep your data safe.
5. Recovery of lost data. What about if you lose everything and your computer crashes or the cloud crashes? Make sure that all of your data can be recovered as part of your cloud computing safety questions of your vendor.
6. Support in case of illegal or other inappropriate activity. Since cloud computing is so spread out all over the world and they may have servers in numerous locations, it’s very hard to look into any inappropriate activities or illegal doings. Cloud computing safety should contain ways for your vendor to be able to support you if there is cloud computing privacy issues.
7. Being Stable and Long-Lasting. If you want to preserve your chances of better cloud computing security, then you want to choose a vendor that is in it for the long term. Make sure you do your homework so you don’t end up being hosted by a small company that’s likely to be bought out and you then have no say in what happens with your private information and data.
Problems With Cloud Hosting
These and other issues aren’t unique to businesses, but also affect the everyday individual or family that stores things like their precious photos, tax returns, important documents or other sensitive computing privacy issues.
If you don’t pay attention to these and other cloud computing security issues, then you really don’t understand the risks, and sometimes those risks make it so you may be better off staying out of the cloud for now until they get better at cloud computing security.
In some cases, the risk is too great to rely on the cloud. And where the decision is made to put some services and applications in the cloud, the business must ask how that risk should be managed.
Cloud Security Standards
Believe it or not, there really aren’t any standards of security that all cloud hosting providers have to adhere to yet. They may come in the future, but they don’t exist now. This makes it a very dangerous field for both business and consumer users of the cloud technology. Until this is done, the individual vendors have their own guidelines for cloud computing safety and security.
One practice that alarms some analysts when it comes to cloud computing security is the fact that the cloud based services are updated and changed quite often. According to some studies, new features are added as frequently as every week or so, and any security really isn’t up to par to handle that, despite things like a software development life cycle such as the one Microsoft has. It is only geared to handle a change every 3-5 years, which is totally inadequate for the current way of doing business in the cloud.
What the cloud providers need to help in the cloud computing security arena is a standard for security interface standards. These would let the cloud vendors communicate with other security systems in other domains and be able to work with them to keep your data secure and safe.
Cloud Computing Security
Businesses have various issues to worry about when it comes to cloud computing safety and security. For instance, if the cloud vendor changes the version of some software the customer uses, their clients are forced to also upgrade. This could affect security that may have been built into an older version, but the business has to trust that the cloud vendor has done their homework and checked this out.
Commercials touting the benefits of the cloud for the average consumer speak on how it will be so much easier if you have things on multiple electronic devices to store it “in the cloud.” However, putting your personal data onto a cloud server could have many pitfalls if you aren’t careful. Cloud computing privacy issues are a big deal and are getting even bigger.
Search and Seizure
Another one of the cloud computing privacy issues is the fact that what you have stored on the cloud servers can be gotten with just a subpoena, which is both easy to get and can be done without your knowledge. This is different if someone wanted to check the computers in your home, as that would require a search warrant.
The federal government has the power to get information on your activities online, including from a cloud computer server. This is partly thanks to the Patriot Act, and thousands of such subpoenas have been issued over the past few years.
Perhaps the government isn’t reading your emails on a regular basis as some conspiracy theories suggest, but still, cloud computer privacy issues need to be addressed and there is definitely abuse that could be occurring.
What about someone besides the government? That is a more likely scenario for most people. Your data could be at risk for things like keyloggers, phising, or other things if your cloud computer vendor has a weak security system in place.
This has already happened to some businesses. Just recently hackers got into Twitter and put out internal documents of businesses and published them online. This outright bust of cloud computing security and safety was very embarrassing. It could happen to anyone, consumer or business firm.
Who is Ultimately Responsible?
Studies have shown that not all vendors think they should be the ones that are ultimately responsible for providing cloud computing safety and security. A recent audit showed that a horrendous 73 percent of US cloud providers and 75 percent of European cloud providers admitted that their services didn’t effectively provide cloud computing security.
An additional 69 percent in the study didn’t even think it was their job to secure their customer’s info. Some of these admitted in the study that they don’t evaluate the safety or security of systems or applications before providing them to their clients. These horrible findings show just how much both individuals and businesses have to look out for themselves if they want their data to remain private and secure. It was further found that cloud providers only spent on average about 10 percent of their budge on cloud computing security issues.
Cloud Server Security Issues
Don’t think it can’t happen to even the big cloud computing providers. Last July, Amazon’s cloud servers were subjected to an outage, and they are rated in the top couple of vendors. Since the outage occurred, Amazon had to look into its own cloud computer security and safety issues. Their server had crashed within days of a cloud computing commission was established to make recommendations for deployment of Internet based services like cloud computing. It caused some major online businesses such as FourSquare, Reddit and Fromspring to have their websites crash as well. This also leads into a previous issue, where you need to know how well your cloud vendor can provide recovery of your data!