Security in the Cloud : The Divided Responsibilities

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Security in the Cloud in the part of the services offered by third parties is part of the prospects for risk management of a company to run assessments. An assumption is taken granted that each service provider running their service from a data center that is definitely safer than your own. However with assumption based ideation, a serious issue like security in the cloud can not be determined.

 

Security in the Cloud : The Parameters

 

But when these service providers are asked for the details to confirm these assessments, many providers can not help but ask about the word – trust. Addressing this lack of visibility on the part of the services offered by third parties is part of the prospects for risk management of a company and it is important to make a correct assessment of this risk, which also depends on the cost. This evaluation phase has seven different areas of responsibility to consider for security in the cloud, each with its own characteristics, and dependent on the type of cloud model that is in use – readers can read the article on Cloud Computing Service models for the details on the models.

 

The Different Aspects of Security in the Cloud

 

Client security

 

Generally the client’s security is the responsibility of the owner of the service. In the case of SaaS, with a downloaded application, the question becomes more complicated. Of course, the end user has accepted the terms and conditions before downloading the app, but we know that there are not many who read the conditions top to bottom. In a public cloud we do not know how the SaaS provider secures the connection and how the identification of the device the cloud application is executed. There is a possibility of identifying an interception or theft of data.

 

Network Security

 

The cloud services are accessed more and more over the Internet, often using SSL connections. In some cases, mainly in the case of managed cloud services, you may choose to use VPN connections or leased lines if you believe that they provide the highest levels of security. Obviously there is a price for these choices, and you will then need to balance the risk and cost.

 

Physical Security

 

The service provider is obviously responsible for the security of its data centers, so this issue is no longer your problem when using cloud services. However, if the service provider hosts the applications and distributes the information to many users (like employees leaking information), the probability of a data center for becoming a target for the criminals and hackers grows exponentially. In such case,s precautions must be taken greater than those of a normal data center. You might want an audit before consuming the service provider and this is typically possible with a managed cloud but much more difficult with the public cloud. So once again the physical security should become an integral part of your selection criteria.

 

Safety of platform

 

The security of the images of virtual machine, the robustness of the operating system, patching the softwares to prevent security breaches, intrusion detection, all are under the responsibility of the service provider. If you consume IaaS services, you receive a VM environment which is considered safe and you have the responsibility for anything that will run on the virtual machine. Essentially your responsibilities begin at the VM level. You should consider, however, what steps deemed to provide the necessary security for you.

Security in the Cloud

 

Application-level security

 

If you make good usage of IaaS or PaaS, at least the part of the security of the application is at your own risk. If you consume SaaS services, however the responsibility is all on the side of the service provider. The case of PaaS is very interesting since in this case you have responsibility of security at the application level, while using the libraries and other software tools offered by the Service Provider. Defining the responsibilities for each party is critical in this environment and once again read the terms and conditions, it is not a wastage of time.

 

Security of data

 

Here the term comes – encryption and those who manage the encryption keys. If the data are persistent and the data stored in a cloud provider does not delete immediately, you should think about what data to put in an external cloud before you begin go in to production. Keep in mind the precautions and educate users to follow and how to behave in the event of a security breach.

 

Identity and access management

 

With the hybrid cloud, typically using the Single Sign-On, which allows us to identify once and access multiple services. This definitely makes the life easier, but at the same time can cause a SPOF (Single Point Of Failure).

 

A good way to protect yourself regardless of the cloud model to protect your API keys. We basically have discussed all these points as elaborated separate articles, for example, if you search with Identity and access management in the cloud, you will get elaborated articles.nbsp;

Abhishek-Ghosh

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