What Are the Security Risks of Cloud Computing?.
Cloud computing is one of the hottest technology trends these days. From simple storage solutions to complex enterprise applications, most computing is moving to the cloud.
But as our data is increasingly stored on remote servers around the world, the question must be asked: Is cloud computing really secure?
How exactly is your data stored in cloud applications? Could it be available to others? What are the security risks of cloud computing? Here’s a full overview.
Cloud Computing 101
Usually, your computer can perform as well as its hardware allows. If you need more storage space or processing power, you need to upgrade your computer. But with the decline in the cost of connecting to the Internet, another option has appeared – the cloud.
The basic premise of cloud computing is pretty simple. Instead of running complex programs and storing files on your computer, you run them on a remote server. This remote server is called the cloud and is responsible for providing you computing resources over the network.
The most obvious examples of this are cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox. These cloud apps provide you with dedicated storage that you can use to store your own files. Since this storage does not come from your PC, these files are safe even if your PC gets damaged or broken.
Of course, this only scratches the foundations. Cloud services go much further than just remote storage, offering everything from web hosting to completely remote applications. Services such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS are used by businesses around the world to run all kinds of computing applications.
The Advantages of Cloud Computing
There are many advantages of cloud computing over traditional applications.
The main advantage is redundancy. Data stored physically on a single personal device can be destroyed due to any technical problem, which requires hours of work and important information. The cloud, on the other hand, uses multiple servers scattered across different geographic locations, making data loss nearly impossible.
The second big advantage is scalability. For enterprise applications, it can be very difficult to acquire additional compute resources to handle the additional workload in traditional configurations. This requires an additional investment in hardware that is not used most of the time.
With cloud computing, applications can request more resources as needed, paying only for the power used. This makes it very cost effective to launch a scalable application, not to mention ease of implementation.
The Vulnerabilities of Cloud Computing
We have already seen the many benefits of cloud computing. From availability to redundancy, there are many good things about using a cloud service. At the same time, however, there are several drawbacks.
The main concern is data security. Since your data is stored on a public server, its security is independent of you. The cloud service company (and its servers) has complete control over your information.
In a sense, it is more secure than a personal computer. One hardware failure cannot compromise all of your data. But at the same time, he also exposes information to external threats. A hack that compromises cloud servers could leak your personal data.
More importantly, you need to trust the cloud provider itself to respect your privacy. And in this age of big data, this is hardly a given. Tech giants are regularly criticized for violating the confidentiality of user data to which they have access, making storing important information in the cloud risky.
In addition, there are security vulnerabilities that even cloud services are exposed to. Like any web service, cloud computing can be subject to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that compromise its capabilities. This causes the affected service to go offline, making your application unavailable for an unknown period of time.
So cloud computing is potentially vulnerable. What then, the solution? Should you completely stop using cloud services?
Of course not. Despite all the theoretical security risks inherent in cloud computing, it is practically one of the most secure forms of computing. Due to redundancy, there are very few points of failure on cloud servers.
Losing or stealing data from a cloud service requires a disaster, not a spilled cup of tea, which could mean the destruction of the information stored on your laptop. Hackers also tend to find it harder to break into a system, as cloud providers tend to use more effective security measures than PCs.
Personal computers can also fall prey to ransomware attacks that block your personal information and require payment in cryptocurrencies to give you access. Other malware can simply corrupt all files at once, making cloud computing even more indispensable.
You can use encryption to improve the security of your own data. For databases and cloud storage services, encrypt the data on your system before loading. For entire applications that run outside the cloud, try services that encrypt the information you use. Thus, even hacking or data leakage does not pose a threat to your personal data.
Is Cloud Computing Secure?
Asking if cloud computing is safe is like asking if flying is safe for travel. This is statistically the safest form, although of course nothing is completely risk-free.
The greatest security risks in cloud computing are not hackers or technical failures, but deliberate mismanagement. The nature of cloud servers makes it very difficult for hackers to penetrate and actually guarantees protection against hardware failures.
The only thing that can compromise data in the cloud is the service provider itself. And while tech giants like Google or Amazon have established themselves as reliable companies in this niche, putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good idea.
Simple measures like encrypting your data and trusting cloud providers with transparent privacy policies can help protect your files and other information from unwanted access. By keeping a close eye on the security of cloud computing, you can easily mitigate and reap the benefits of security risks.
What Are the Security Risks of Cloud Computing?
What Are the Security Risks of Cloud Computing?