Is Cloud Computing Secure?


As Cloud computing continues to revolutionize the way we use the Internet, more and more users, businesses and educators are joining the trend. But despite its numerous benefits, the Cloud carries some new security concerns.

Fortunately for prospective users, security in the Cloud rivals or surpasses traditional computing security. A diverse combination of security measures increases overall security.

Let’s take a look at the various institutions that contribute to the picture.

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Cloud Service Providers (CSPs):

AmazonGoogleMicrosoft and others all offer Cloud platforms for businesses or educators. CSPs have built-in security measures to monitor the security of their cloud.

CSP Security Measures:

  • 2-step verification: login credentials beyond a username and a password, such as a randomized code or security question
  • Infrastructure Security built into the coding of the cloud platform, including automated self-monitoring
  • Full-time Information Technology (IT) Security monitoring and security updates
  • Periodical external security audits

What This Means:

CSPs ensure that the cloud you use is more secure than the average email account. Like a solid foundation supports a strong building, Googledescribes itself as building security into the DNA of the cloud platform. This first line of defense is critical, but not comprehensive for businesses dealing with sensitive data. For more extensive protection, there are Managed Security Services Providers, or (MSSPs).

Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs)

MSSPs are third-party network security companies. Beyond providing another level of security, MSSPs remove the administrator's burden of constantly monitoring the network.

MSSPs provide a wide variety of services at numerous points up and down the ladder, locally in the Cloud and everywhere in between. New models go a step further by integrating security into the Cloud, so that the service actively secures data.

MSSP Security Measures:

  • On-site consulting
  • Firewall installation and upgrading
  • Day-to-day security monitoring and reporting
  • Penetration and vulnerability testing
  • Compliance (change) monitoring

Companies like Datapipe and ScaleXtreme take monitoring a step further, offering full cloud-IT services, effectively eliminating the burden of IT and security for their clients.

This allows users to employ MSSPs to supervise the security of their data and network. A constantly-improving industry of MSSPs means each company offers different customizable services and price ranges, so cloud users can find the ideal security provider to suit their needs.

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Who Watches The Watchmen?

Various third-party organizations provide audits and security certifications designed to test the security measures put in place by MSSPs and CSPs. Each MSSP/CSP publishes their credentials for prospective clients to peruse.

The Cloud does come with a risk—any data stored online is inherently vulnerable. CSPs and MSSPs seek to eliminate those risks through a mix of technological measures and constant vigilance and upgrading. Furthermore, as more users adopt Cloud services, new and improved cloud security services will arise to reflect the changing landscape of modern computing.

Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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