You may wonder why an arrangement of servers, constructed of hard metal, which tend to run hot and weigh thousands of pounds, be called a “cloud”? This can be propped up only by an engineering diagram, in which data travels by an undefined pathway from beginning to end. So, the cloud refers to the randomized packet transfer protocol that underlies modern computing.
It’s uncertain where exactly the term “the cloud” originated, but what it represents is clear. “The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet,” Cloud Camp co-founder Reuven Cohen told the MIT Technology Review in 2011. “It’s a rebranding of the Internet.” But that metaphor is tricky for those who pinpoint security-first, for the internet is a land where misappropriating or damaging data is flaunted.
What is Private Cloud and Public Cloud?
Private clouds are exclusive to a single enterprise—such as a company’s internal storage system and are usually easier to secure but not as flexible in terms of rapid scalability. Private clouds also tend to have higher capital and operational costs. On the other hand, Public clouds are operated by third parties, offering the cloud as service. Some prominent examples are – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace in addition to the Google Cloud Platform and IBM’s cloud service.
Private Cloud Security: A Risky Affair!
Both private and public clouds come with risks, as Roger A. Grimes observed at InfoWorld. Private clouds may seem safer at first because they are under the enterprise’s tight control, but a glaring drawback is that all companies cannot afford the same level of security as Amazon or IBM. Sometimes, their own employees are risk factors, who may do malicious acts or cause unintentional accidents. Private cloud networks rarely have geographic failover options, making its priceless data risky. Public clouds, on the other hand, are supported by data centers all around the world, rendering them both secure and efficient.
Public Cloud Security: Riddled by Challenges
Businesses typically consider 3 specific security concerns, when deciding whether to use public clouds:
Multitenancy: Sharing a cloud with other businesses (especially competitors) is top-of-mind for corporate bosses. Companies in public clouds ensure that their private/customer data should not leak into other users in the space.
Virtualization: Exploits are common today. As identities across devices have become more fluid, access and authentication systems are striving hard to approve the right users.
Ownership: Many public cloud providers do not bring up the issue of ownership in their user agreements, opening up the option to profit from the storage of the data.
Facing these challenges can be varied. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found a route to make the public cloud safe and accessible in less than one month, by using some of the latest cloud security tools.
Cloud security is entering a new era. Businesses aiming for public cloud solutions may want to explore these options, to protect data.
The Top Public Cloud Security Resources
Barracuda Web Security Service – offers malware protection, URL filtering and application control
Evident.io – provides cloud security in partnership with AWS
Logz.io – to create proactive alerts on selected events and relevant dashboards to aggregate and view data trends and monitor security threats including password brute force detection, access control, and network access
Nessus – operates as an open source vulnerability assessment tool
Nmap: the Network Mapper – tests penetration by scanning networks for congestion and latency
Netskope – discovers any cloud apps and shadow IT used on your network
WhiteHat Security – imitates threats to tide over coding vulnerabilities on websites
Zscaler – monitors all the traffic that comes in and out of your network along with protecting iOS and Android devices
Public cloud security is only going to become more important with each passing year.