Security is one of the biggest concerns of businesses in any form. Whether a business is a small brick-and-mortar or a multi-million online ventures, security should be implemented. Exposing the company to different security flaws is always inviting to different elements with malicious intent. A single security strike could mean millions of dollars for businesses and might single handedly close the business down.
Proper implementation of security measures is highly recommended for cloud computing. The mere fact that the application is launched through internet makes it vulnerable to any time of attack. An application available in LAN (Local Area Network) only could even be infiltrated from the outside so placing an application over the internet is always a security risk. This is the unique situation of cloud computing. Implementation of cloud computing could require millions of dollars in infrastructure and applications development but it still places itself at risk for different types of attacks.
Protecting the Users
Above everything else, cloud computing or any type of online application format should consider protecting its users. Developers should make sure that data related to the user should not be mishandled and could be extracted just by one.
There are two ways to ensure cloud computing security: restrictive user access and certifications.
Restrictive access could come from simple username/password challenge to complicated CAPTCHA log in forms. But applications in cloud computing should not only base itself on these challenges. IP specific applications and user time-outs are only some of the security measures that should be implemented.
The challenge in restrictive user access is to limit the access privilege of the user. Each user will have to be assigned manually with security clearance to ensure limitation of access to different files.
Certifications are also important for user certification. Developers have to open their application to security specialists or companies that provide certifications for security. This is one way of assuring users that the application has been fully tested against different types of attacks. This is often the dilemma for cloud computing as external security checks might open the company secrets on cloud computing. But this has to be sacrificed to ensure the security of their users.
Aside from user protection against different types of attacks, the data itself should be protected. In this aspect, the hardware and software linked to cloud computing should be scrutinized. Again, a certification is highly desired in this part of cloud computing.
The hardware component for cloud computing on the other hand requires a different type of security consideration. The location of data center should not only be selected because of its proximity to controllers and intended users but also on its security (and even secrecy) from external problems. The data center should be protected against different types of weather conditions, fire and even physical attacks that might destroy the center physically.
With regards to the hardware component in relation to the application, certain manual components have to be available for increased security. Among them is manual shutdown to prevent further access of the information. Although data could be controlled with another application that data could be infiltrated unless the application is shutdown immediately.
Recovery and Investigation
Cloud computing security should not only focus itself on prevention. Ample resources should also be focused on recovery if the unfortunate event really strikes. Even before disaster happens, certain plans have to be in place to ensure that everyone will be working in unison towards recovery. The plans do not have to be focused on software attacks alone – certain external disasters such as weather conditions should have separate recovery plans.
When everything has been recovered, developers and the company handling the application should have the means to investigate the cause of the problem. Through investigation, certain conditions that lead to the event could be realized and insecurities could be discovered. Even legal actions could be done if security has been breached on purpose.
Security is one of the most difficult task to implement in cloud computing. It requires constant vigilance against different forms of attacks not only in the application side but also in the hardware components. Attacks with catastrophic effects only needs one security flaw so it’s always a challenge for everyone involved to make things secured.