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Cloud Computing & Security

Autor:   •  November 3, 2013  •  Case Study  •  1,225 Words (5 Pages)  •  744 Views

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Cloud Computing & Security

Background

Cloud Computing has become the latest technology buzzword. Everyone wants to be a part of the ‘almighty cloud’ and be able to access all of their personal data anytime, anywhere that they see fit, even if the average person does not completely understand the concept behind it. Although this has just recently become a household term, the theory behind cloud computing has been around and used for several years. In this article, I will be referring specifically to cloud computing used for storage of data, not computations.

The idea of cloud computing is for information, software, and resources to be shared across a network, generally with a centralized API. The information is either stored on a main server or servers but can be accessed and changed across all cloud clients. The typical personal computer is limited to the information that is specifically installed on that one unit (or so people think). But even this unit has the potential to access the data kept on a cloud server by using applications or a web browser. And this access is the same for all devices that connect to a cloud server.

Now the first thing a person may ask is why this is necessary or helpful. A quick way to answer this is to ask the person how many devices they normally use on a given day. Ten years ago, it was not uncommon for a person to own a cell phone, a pager, a palm pilot, an iPod, and a computer (or multiple computers). Each device has a very specific function but the limitations were a lack of data convergence. If you wanted the contacts you kept on your cell phone, put onto your palm pilot or your computer, you had to go to great lengths to sync them. Sometimes you had to purchase special software and take several hours of tweaking to do it. Not only was this time consuming, but also ineffective, since this process had to be repeated every single time you made a change to one of the devices. With the use of a cloud server, you have one place that your data is kept and all the devices in turn sync to the cloud, keeping every device up to date and consistent. This is a wonderful concept.

What the Risks Are

This unification comes at a price. One big problem is that the user has to rely on whoever owns and maintains the cloud server, to store and protect their data. The user no longer has control over where this data is being stored, how effectively it’s being protected, if at all, or who has access to it. Users assume that their data is safe and won’t be exploited, but we are far too trusting. We’ve traded ease of use for a higher risk of theft. And the idea of a secure cloud server is being pushed onto the individual users, as their problem to fix and maintain. Usually, without the user knowing this responsibility is now theirs. So now if a problem does occur, the user is left to fend for

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