Security Issues in Cloud Computing and their Solutions

Cloud computing is a popular option due to its many benefits, such as cost reduction, performance, and efficiency. The COVID-19 pandemic definitely contributed to the popularity of cloud computing as it allows people to work remotely. It is forecasted to be one of the biggest IT trends in 2022. But what is it exactly? 

It is the delivery of hosted services over the internet including tools like data storage, software, servers, and databases. Cloud computing makes it possible to keep files on a remote database instead of saving them on a physical hard drive, as long as the device has access to the Internet of course. 

It can be both private and public. Anyone on the internet can buy public cloud services. A private cloud, on the other hand, provides services to a limited number of people with specific access and permissions. The goal of both is to provide simple access to computing resources and IT services.

Types of Cloud Computing 

To give you a better understanding of cloud computing, let’s look at its division and some examples. These services are classified into three types: software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS).

Software as a Service (SaaS) 

It is a software deployment model where the application is hosted by service providers via the Internet. Therefore, the whole installation and maintenance processes of the software are done over the internet, making it easier and more efficient. Examples include Google Workspace, Dropbox, Mailchimp, Adobe Creative Cloud and many more.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) 

It is a category of cloud computing services computing service that provides a platform - hardware, software, and infrastructure - that enables customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure that is typically associated with the development of an application. Some of the examples are Heroku, Google App Engine, IBM Cloud Foundry etc.

What are the Security Risks of Cloud Computing? 

Even though cloud computing has many beneficial aspects, it also has some issues - the biggest being data privacy and security issues. Data security is currently a major concern in the IT sector. Since this concept is quickly evolving day by day, new security issues emerge, and they need to be taken care of as soon as discovered. The location of the data servers is one of the biggest aspects that affect data security as it determines which laws apply to the data. For instance, if the data is stored on a server in the US, the US protection laws may be insufficient for users from the European Union. However, most new data protection legislation, such as GDPR, have an extraterritoriality clause, which means they apply regardless of where the service provider is based. Therefore, if the corporation gathers personal data from EU citizens, the procedures it takes to protect that data must be GDPR compliant. Thus, the data should be protected. However, it is a virtual space and this way of storing data has an increased risk of data leaks, meaning that either competitors or other unauthorized users can gain access to confidential data with ease.

Data Confidentiality – Possible Solutions 

As mentioned before, new problems are emerging as the technology is evolving and therefore businesses must be coming up with solutions to these data privacy issues. These include distributive storage, hybrid technique, data concealment, and deletion confirmation.

Distributive Storage 

It means storing data in multiple cloud databases. The data would be divided into smaller parts and therefore the user’s data would also be divided into encrypted pieces maximizing the security of sensitive data.

Hybrid Technique 

This method employs both key sharing and authentication procedures, resulting in a more secure connection between the user and the cloud database.

Data Concealment 

During the data concealment, the real data is merged with fake data to falsify the real data’s quantity, however, authorized users could easily differentiate between the fake and the real data and this way provide increased security of the data.

Deletion Confirmation 

It would imply that data could not be recovered if users deleted their files after receiving confirmation of deletion. The problem is that multiple copies of one file exist in the cloud for the convenience of data recovery. This method would mean that all the existing copies would be deleted and there would be no way of recovering the data. However, the data would be better protected.

Is Cloud Computing Worth it? 

Cloud computing offers numerous advantages, although data security is very important, and any data leaks could cause serious problems. These can be avoided by e.g., using the protective methods mentioned above. All of them are just a fraction of ways how personal data can and should be protected and cloud service providers need to consider which are the most reliable to minimize the privacy issues of cloud computing.

Written by - Andrea Dzurillová   

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