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Cloud Computing is a Solution to Many Security Concerns

Chain and padlock shaped like a cloud

The eventual move of both hardware and software to the cloud is inevitable, the next likely step in the advance of computing technology. While security concerns surrounding cloud computing are prevalent, the advances in this field necessary to overcome such concerns have already happened. Today, most businesses are working in a state of transition between traditional IT and cloud-based services. Migration to the cloud can allow companies to compartmentalize their data in a way that even improves security,

Cloud computing’s recent rise

Cost reduction, scalability, and accessibility have made cloud adoption grow enormously in the last five years. Businesses are increasingly opting for SaaS options when purchasing applications and adopting this technology. However, cloud computing’s rise to prominence didn’t occur overnight. It is part of a steady rise in market share, and we have witnessed gradual technological improvements since its first initial mainstream appearances. The gradual growth of this technology has resulted in specific security risks during transition periods that often worry businesses that want to switch.

Security benefits of moving to the cloud

Despite the unfounded security concerns about cloud computing, some aspects of this technology can allow the compartmentalization of elements in order to alleviate security issues during transition periods. When one analyzes computer espionage and data theft tactics used today, it is immediately obvious that better segregation is the key to ensuring that any breach is not catastrophic. It is particularly important to mark clear separations between data, applications, and the client’s network. SaaS services have the distinct advantage of segregating the client from full network access.

A good way to understand this is by looking at online banking. Banks will never let their customers access the bank’s internal business network when the customer accesses online banking applications. In the worst of cases, only the account of that one particular customer is at risk. In the same way, SaaS can also provide protection from attacks by preventing them from accessing corporate networks and non-client content. Many malware tactics involve lateral movement and privilege escalation, meaning that they will take advantage of a single exposed client to move from there to the corporate network.

A cloud environment can effectively prevent malware from carrying out second and third stages of their attacks (the first stage being the initial infection of the client.) Despite malware developers’ best efforts, systems based on SaaS will segregate the malware on the client’s side, preventing it from gaining access to other computer systems on the network.

Other security advantages of cloud computing and SaaS

SaaS can also protect data from social engineering attacks. This is because social engineering tactics targeting a specific set of employees or department at a specific company will not have an effect on the personnel of the cloud services provider. In fact, a well-deployed software architecture can prevent data theft by segregating the specific parts of the chain that have access to the data. Apart from this, there are indirect methods in which SaaS and cloud computing can provide improvements to a company’s data security. For example, cloud services can allow a company to hire larger teams of computer security specialists due to the cost effective nature of this technology.

Cloud technology’s unique resilience and redundancy also apply to security processes and help protect data in ways that traditional computing does not. One example is when you look at GMO Cloud’s Security strategy where they secure all aspects of the business from physical to operations, and of course, systems.

Cloud security and the Asian market

Curiously, security concerns are especially unfounded in the Asia Pacific market where the conditions for optimal implementation of cloud computing services already exists. Fortunately, there exist cloud service architectures that can provide businesses with improved security. This has been demonstrated for years with security services and anti-spam providers for cloud-based email, as well as proxy services also using cloud technology to filter online activity. Perhaps the one tangible security benefit of cloud computing in the future will be that it will allow companies to migrate away from traditional corporate networks, already saturated with security problems that criminals have become quite adept at exploiting.

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About the Guest Author:

Nida Rasheed

Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed.

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