Security Threats in Cloud Computing and Preventive Methods

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SECURITY THREATS IN CLOUD COMPUTING AND PREVENTIVE METHODSStudent NameITC595 MIT, School of Computing & Mathematics, Charles Sturt computing is a beneficialtechnology because of its ability to reduce costs,increase flexibility, convenience and scalability. It istherefore the next generation technique that willfacilitate dynamic storage structures, pooling ofresources, and virtualization. It makes it possible toshare resources for geographically distributedorganizations making it possible for them to followcommon goals and build relationships withoutdepending on a central location. As a result, in thelast decade, a lot of people and businesses haveincreasingly adopted cloud computing. Data andinformation stored in the cloud has dramaticallyincreased. Growth and adoption of the technology isalso increasing security threat. For instance databreaches are increasing every year as hackers whoare working hard to search for and exploit systemvulnerabilities. This paper begins by providing adetailed overview of cloud computing includingtechnologies and applications. Security challenges incloud computing such as data loss, braches, insecureAPIs and online cyber theft have been discussed.The main areas not included as a concept that makesthe technology insecure has been mentioned. Inaddition, preventive measures to curtail securitythreats have been discussed including accessmanagement, security policies and procedureenhancement and data protection. A lot of researchand studies have been done on cloud computingsecurity. However, cloud computing is an emergingtechnology, some of its concepts are new to manypeople and organizations. This paper also presentssome areas requiring further research in cloudcomputing developments with regards to reducinginsecurity levels.Keywords— cloud computing, cloud security, databreachINTRODUCTIONCloud computing is an emerging technology thatfacilitates access to services including software’s, ITinfrastructures including storage structures, serversand platforms via the Internet[ CITATION Mel11 \l1033 ].The technology is involved in many people’slives and provides services and applications servicesfor free or minimalcosts. Many people use cloudcomputing services daily. For instance, we use mailservers including Google and Yahoo to send andreceive emails. We also use social networkingplatforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn andmore to connect and share information with friends,family and business partners. Additionally we payfor on-demand subscription services such as Netflixto access movies and TV shows. Furthermore, westore our information including documents, music,videos and pictures on the cloud through the use ofGoogle drive or Dropbox and more. We also usecollaboration applications such as Google docs.Therefore, if you send and receive mail, editdocuments, watch TV or moves, play online gamesor store your photos online, you are implementingcloud computing. Cloud computing can be accessedthrough web apps, blogs, on-demand software’s,data analysis and more[ CITATION Mic18 \l1033 ].Benefits of Cloud ComputingCloud computing provides a lot of benefits for bothindividuals and business corporations. It allowefficiency and convenience. It also reduces IT costssignificantly since there would be no need to but ITinfrastructure. It is fast as many cloud computingservices are on-demand services. Cloud computingalso provides reliability as data backup, recovery andbusiness continuity become less expensive. It alsoprovides business flexibility and scalability[ CITATION Mic18 \l 1033 ].Technologies and Applications used in CloudComputingAccording to[ CITATION Cec14 \l 1033 ], cloudcomputing can be offered in any one of thefollowing service architecturesCloud Computing Service ModelsSoftware as a Service (SaaS)SaaS model allows a user to access and use softwareapplications running on the cloud via the Internet[ CITATION Cho13 \l 1033 ]. The softwareapplications are usually accessible using variousdevices including laptops, desktops, and smart
phones, tablets through a client or program interface.The end-user has no idea orcontrol of thefundamental infrastructure comprising of servers,OS, storage or application settings.Platform as a Service (PaaS)PaaS allows for an end-user to run applications onthe cloud infrastructure or to acquire services using,libraries, API’s, tools and services with support fromthe service provider. The end-user only controlsinstalled applications and configuration settingsbutdoesn’t manage the primary cloud infrastructuresuch as the network, OS, servers, or storage.Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)IaaS allows an end-user to process, store, and accesscomputing resources in the event that he/she candeploy and execute necessary applications such asOS. With IaaS, users have no business managing thebasic cloud infrastructures but can control OS,storage, and installed software’s with restrictedcontrol of networking components such as firewalls.Cloud Computing Deployment ModelsCloud computing technology can be deployed in anumber of ways including public, private,community and hybrid.Private cloudIn a private cloud, exclusively a single companyprovisions IT applications. Private cloud can bepossessed, controlled, and operated by a third partyprovider, a company or both[ CITATION Tec18 \l1033 ]. A private cloud can be hosted internally (on-site) or externally (off-site).Public cloudA public cloud is open for utilization by the generalpublic and not limited to a single company. It can bepossessed, controlled and managed by a commercial,or governmental agency, or both[ CITATIONTec18 \l 1033 ]. It is usually hosted by the cloudprovider.Community cloudA community cloud is used by a group of users orenterprises that share a common goal or with similarconcerns such as mission, policies, compliancestandards or security requirements. It can bepossessed, controlled and activated by one or agroup of organizations, a managed services provider,or both. It is hosted on or off premise.Hybrid cloudA hybrid cloud combines two or more cloudstructures that are separate but integrated bystandardized technology to enable operationsportability. An organization can use a hybrid modelto benefit from the different infrastructures.Security Issues in Cloud ComputingData LossDeploying cloud computing is important because itprovides low cost benefit, computing andconvenience.Additionally, being able to accessapplications and information through a cloud modelfacilitates remote working. The challenge is howeveris that data and information stored on the cloud canget lost. If there was no backup procedures set inplace, organizations can suffer from losing criticalinformation used to run their operations.Cloud OutagesThere is no guarantee that cloud computing provides100 percent system uptime. Some disasters areinevitable. For instance, in June 2012, a stormdestroyed one of Amazon’s data center cutting offtheir services. All the cloud spaces hosted in the datacenter were hence affected.Cloud outages can makebusiness operations come to standstill whicheventually has long lasting effects on the business.Data breachesData breaches have become so common with moretechnology developments including cloud computing[ CITATION Ahm14 \l 1033 ]. They can come fromboth inside and outside an organization. Researchhas already shown that over 20 percentdata breachescome from within a business which is even moredamaging and costly. Data breaches have become acritical area to deal with on cloud computingadoption and companies are spending millions toprotect against security breaches.Insecure API’s and InterfacesInsecure Application Programming Interfaces (API)in cloud computing are increasingly becoming athreat to cloud systems. APIs are applications thatare used by third party providers and computer
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