Cloud computing has unquestionably become one of the sexiest trends in business technology today. Businesses view the availability of shared resources, information, and software as invaluable to the growth and transformation of their companies.
The cloud concept enables users to easily access applications via the Internet using information stored in remote servers. However, the glaring problem of data security remains the most prominent deterrent to cloud adoption.
There are two primary concerns with regard to cloud security that must be addressed by any business that is looking to utilize the cloud model. The first issue pertains to the security of the cloud provider itself. The provider is the organization supplying the services, sometimes referred to as the third party.
The second concern relates to the security of the customer being provided the cloud service. The customer needs to verify the cloud provider is adhering to all security regulations to which they've committed. Each must ensure the other is taking all proper security measures to protect their data and information.
Knowledge is key when taking preventative security measures in cloud computing. Companies must understand the risks associated with using the a cloud model. For example, cloud providers should be vigilant in their authentication processes. Additionally, customers whose services involve highly sensitive data should encrypt their data and research the hosting company before engaging in cloud activity.
The enforcement of strict privacy and security policies and the implementation of data retention restrictions are both simple steps companies can use to safeguard cloud security and protect the privacy of their customers.
In 2011 alone, several companies had serious breaches in their data security. Sony, Epsilon, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and most recently in 2012, Zappos, have all experienced security infractions. To avoid such catastrophes, companies should proactively take steps to ensure cloud computing security.
Cloud providers should meet security standards set by associations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Statement of Auditing Standard (SAS). Taking these precautions and meeting these requirements helps to protect customer data and guarantee the soundness of cloud security.