Is cloud computing secure?

In the latest of our cloud computing exploration features, we look at the issue of security.

With more and more data and applications heading to the cloud, leaving the familiar data centre for the fresh field of hosted online data centres, it's time to think hard about security issues.

Can hosted, multi-tenant services ever be as secure as your own server?

This isn't a new problem. Far from it. It's actually one the industry keeps coming back to. First it was data processed by time-sharing systems at a data processing bureau, and then it was outsourcing, and most recently off-shoring. Data leaks and breaches in the news focus attention from legislators, and regulations are put in place to try and manage things but regulations are never enough. It's what you do that protects your data.

Advertisement - Article continues below

There are three basic models for cloud services, and how you treat security is going to differ as a result of the cloud services you choose:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): a service like that provided by Amazon Web Service, where they provide an infrastructure, leaving you to deploy your own virtual servers.

Platform as a Service (PaaS): a service like that provided by Microsoft Azure, where you run your applications on the service's operating system, using its storage infrastructure.

Software as a Service (SaaS): a service like that provided by, where you store your data in the services databases, and use its software to process the information.

Advertisement - Article continues below

If you're using an IaaS provider, then you're going to need to treat your virtual machines much like any cluster of virtual machines in a data centre. The service provider is providing the network infrastructure (and the network security tools), and you're going to need to secure your virtual servers. You can use familiar tools and techniques, but it does mean that you're going to have to treat security as a full time IT task.

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now

Most Popular

video conferencing

Zoom beams iOS user data to Facebook for targeted ads

27 Mar 2020
Server & storage

HPE warns of 'critical' bug that destroys SSDs after 40,000 hours

26 Mar 2020

These are the companies offering free software during the coronavirus crisis

25 Mar 2020
Mobile Phones

Apple lifts iPhone purchase restrictions

23 Mar 2020