Contrasting Views: Safety of Cloud Computing Essay

Pages: 10 (3424 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers


The data that owner puts up is not in their control as they outsource and delegate it. In cloud deployment, trust is on the stake as the organization is in charge of ensuring that trust is taken care of. Therefore, this level of trust varies from cloud to cloud and how well the company is taking care of the security risks and hazards (Zissis, 2012)

The aspect of confidentiality and privacy is also at stake when it comes to cloud computing. The idea of software confidentiality is also very relevant to the overall system security of cloud computing. The software applications that are interacting with the user's data should be certified. In other words, these applications should not pose any other confidentiality or privacy risks (Zissis, 2012) The threat of data compromises increases in this system because of the increased number of parties, devices and applications that are involved. Due to the increased number of devices involved, there are many points of access. Ultimately, there are a number of concerns that come out due to issues of data remanence, application security and privacy and multi-tenancy (Carlin & Curran, 2011)

In cloud, data confidentially is related ultimately to user authentication. The user's accounts have to be saved from theft along with the control of access to objects including devices and memory. Again, lack of strong authentication can lead to unauthorized access to any user's account on a cloud. This will ultimately result in a breach of privacy (Zissis, 2012)

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Experts have stated that account or service hijacking can take place very easily in cloud computing (Feng & Zhang, 2011) Social engineering and weak credentials allow account that to be take place. Furthermore, if an attacker has attained access to a user's credential, he can also go on to sensitive data and manipulate it. Furthermore, Data scavenging and data leakage have also been identified as possible threats in cloud computing (ENISA 2009)

TOPIC: Essay on Contrasting Views: Safety of Cloud Computing Assignment

It has been said that the data cannot be removed unless the device is destroyed in a proper way. Due to this reason, a hacker can recover this data and use it in a wrong way. Furthermore, data leakage is when the data leaks out into the wrong hands. Ristenpart (2009) has stated that this can happen when the data is being transferred, stored, audited or processed.

Denial of service is yet another way through which cloud computing poses a threat. For instance, a malicious user can take up all the possible resources such that there are not any resources available for the legitimate user. This not only poses a significant security hazard but it also reduces the reliability of the cloud computing service.

Speaking of reliability, cloud-computing services have also been subject to reliability breakdowns in the past. The breakdown of an important cloud service or network makes a significant impact on its clients. For instance, there was a Gmail disruption in 2012 that led to the services being unavailable for almost an hour (Ogigau-Neamtiu, 2012) The company had reported that it had only affected 2% of its customers. However, later, they updated saying that about 10% of the customers were affected, which means that 35 million clients of a total of 350 million users were affected by this. This shows that cloud providers do set up high standards that are not attainable at all times. The result is that at one time a lot of people are affected.

It has been stated that users attack web applications and manipulate the data that is sent from the application component to the server's application (Grobauer & Walloschek, 2011, Owasp, 2010) This therefore enables the manipulation of data and creates a lot of security related concerns.

Virtual machine escape and hopping are also potential threats to the cloud computing security. Through virtual machine escape, the hypervisor is basically exploited so that the hacker or attacker can take control of the underlying infrastructure. VM hopping is when the hypervisor's vulnerability is used to access another VM (Jasti, 2010; ENISA,2009) When it comes to virtual machines, there is also the chance of malicious VM creation and Insecure VM migration. An attacker who produces valid accounts can therefore create a VM image that contains malicious codes such as Trojan horse. They can ultimately store it in the provider repository. (Grobauer & Walloschek, 2011)

Another major threat arising in cloud computing systems is due to the presence of malicious insiders. A malicious insider is any person who plans on creating a bad impact on the organization's mission. They can act on such a way that compromises the information confidentiality, integrity or variability. Whenever sensitive date is processed outside a company, organizational managers are not aware of the nature and level of risk that is present.

There is lack of employee screening and lack of customer background check that is again posing security hazards in the system (Cloud security Alliance, 2011) There are many cloud providers that do not perform accurate screening and checking of their employees or their providers. A lot of the privileged users such as the cloud administrators have unlimited access to the data that is present on cloud. The cloud provider cannot be sure of a person's intentions by just looking at them. Furthermore, many cloud systems do not have any system of checks and balances that they can carry out on their employees.

Therefore, the malicious activities of an insider could have a greater impact on the integrity and the confidentiality of the services. Furthermore, it reflects the reputation of the organization and the level of trust it can promise its customers. Cloud architecture requires certain roles like cloud auditors, cloud administrators and security personnel. Therefore, all these roles are extremely important and should be reviewed prior to hiring. Cloud security Alliance (2011) have also mentioned that customer background check is not done in the proper way either. This means that anyone with a valid credit card and an email address can go on to open an account. Apocryphal accounts can also enable hackers to perform any malicious activity without being identified.

Contrasting Views: Safety of Cloud computing

Where many people are repeatedly criticizing the safety risks of these systems, other disagrees to it quite a lot. A study carried out by Gartner revealed that cloud computing would be the top 10 most important technologies with a better prospect in the coming years.

It has been mentioned that where they are security risks and hazards, there are many benefits as well. Cloud computing offers security measures on a larger scale, which means that they are much cheaper. Therefore all kinds of defensive measures such as filtering, patch management, hardening of virtual machines and human resources. Furthermore, other benefits include multiple locations, which ultimately enhances redundancy and independence from failure. In addition, it provides various levels of security and good back up facilities as well.

Iaas Cloud Service APIS enable snapshots of virtual infrastructure to be taken regularly which are then compared with a baseline. The updates can also be rolled out different times across a homogenous platform. Furthermore, the cloud provider is able to dynamically relocate resources for filtering, authentication and encryption.

The latest security updates and process are attained timely by the cloud computing system. The updates are rolled in such a way that the clients can readily access them. Because they are updated and informed quite regularly, these clients are therefore lesser at risk for an attack.

The large cloud providers go on to offer a standardized and open interface to manage the security services that they are providing. Due to this reason, there is a lot of freedom for customers to move around and switch their providers with lower set up costs.

Iaas offers support on demand cloning of the virtual machines. Therefore, at times when it seems that there is a security breach, the customers can take an image of a live virtual machine or any of its component. This evidence can therefore be gathered for forensic analysis very, easily which again makes the investigations simple and easy.

With storage on tap, clones can also be created of the activities, which again reduces investigation time. Also, it enhances the exposed analysis of incidents and increase the probability of tracking down the attackers. Therefore it appears that this system patches up all the different weakness and ultimately comes out a more stronger system.

The Audit and SLA also force better risk management. There has been discovered that these systems go through systematic internal audits. If these audits would not be taking place, certain risks would not have been uncovered otherwise. Therefore, cloud-computing systems are regularly checked and reviewed such that any risk present can be detected.

Many people mentioned that high concentration is a disadvantage when it comes to security. However, it does have the advantage of less expensive physical access per control and cheaper physical permiterisation. This means… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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