Data Security in Cloud

June 3, 2016 - 5 minutes read


Cloud computing, in the simpler terms means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is similar to the Internet. These are designed in such a way that can scale easily, be always available and reduce the operational costs. It offers flexibility and it is cheaper than the traditional VPS or dedicated server. Cloud computing is expanding and replacing traditional storage and computational methods. It provides an efficient and economical opportunity for many businesses and individuals to store files and information at an offsite data center which is always connected to the internet.

The era of cloud computing introduces a new dimension for Enterprises.  By providing access to these offsite data centers, businesses and individuals are able to remotely access their information and important data from many different locations and they are saving a lot of money not having to invest in traditional servers. Most enterprises are in a midst of creating, sharing, streaming and storing data in digital formats to allow collaboration, hence there is a need to manage and protect the data continuously to ensure its authenticity. In order to conserve resources & cut costs, Cloud Service Providers often store more than one customer’s data on the same server. As a result, there is a chance that one user’s private data can be viewed by other users (possibly even competitors). When an organization elects to store data or host applications on the public cloud, it loses its ability to have physical access to the servers hosting its information. As a result, potentially sensitive data is at risk from malicious attacks. Thus security and privacy issues are a concern and the most important factor related to cloud computing.

To throttle the threats some security requirements are needed in cloud services:

Data Confidentiality

It is the property that data contents are not disclosed or made available to outsiders. Outsourced data is stored in a cloud and out of the owners’ direct control. Only authorized users can access the sensitive data while others, including Content Security Policies, should not gain any information of the data. Owners can utilize cloud data services, e.g., data search, data computation, and data sharing, without the leakage of the data content.

Data Access Controllability

Data owner can perform the selective restriction of access to his data outsourced to cloud. Legal users can be authorized by the owner to access the data, while others cannot access it without permission obviously. Different users should be granted different access privileges with regard to different data pieces. And the access should be controlled by the owner!!

Data Integrity

We always expect that our data in a cloud is stored correctly and trustworthily. It means that the data cannot be illegally tampered, improperly modified, deliberately deleted, or maliciously fabricated. When a portion of the outsourced data is corrupted or lost, it can still be retrieved by the data users.

Types of controls we provide:

Deterrent controls: It’s much like a warning sign on a fence or a property, this typically reduce the threat level by informing potential attackers that there will be harmful consequences for them if they proceed. That’s what we do “keep the bad guys out”.

Preventive controls: Preventive controls strengthen the system against incidents, generally by reducing if not actually eliminating vulnerabilities. Strong authentication of cloud users, for instance, makes it less likely that unauthorized users can access cloud systems, and more likely that cloud users are positively identified.

Corrective controls: Restores the system backups in order to rebuild a compromised system. It limits the damage.

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