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.

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 Salesforce.com, where you store your data in the services databases, and use its software to process the information.

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

BCDR buyer's guide for MSPs

How to choose a business continuity and disaster recovery solution

Download now

The definitive guide to IT security

Protecting your MSP and your customers

Download now

Cost of a data breach report 2020

Find out what factors help mitigate breach costs

Download now

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Recommended

Defense Dept. expands vulnerability disclosure program to all publicly accessible defense systems
ethical hacking

Defense Dept. expands vulnerability disclosure program to all publicly accessible defense systems

5 May 2021
Security researchers take control of a Tesla via drone
ethical hacking

Security researchers take control of a Tesla via drone

5 May 2021
Best free malware removal tools 2021
Security

Best free malware removal tools 2021

5 May 2021
Acuant acquires identity verification provider Hello Soda
mergers and acquisitions

Acuant acquires identity verification provider Hello Soda

4 May 2021

Most Popular

Dell patches vulnerability affecting hundreds of computer models worldwide
cyber security

Dell patches vulnerability affecting hundreds of computer models worldwide

5 May 2021
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

29 Apr 2021
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

30 Apr 2021