Cloud computing security from user perspective

dblacharski

Cloud computing security is approached from two directions; the cloud provider, and the end user. Regarding the provider, our strategy is "trust but verify," and ensuring that we use a cloud provider that offers a state of the art data center, 24x7 physical and virtual security, monitoring and alerts, etc. But what steps can you take as a client of a hosting provider to make sure your software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service products are safe? Or, are we just left to rely solely on the provider?

Topic: Security
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sspade
Vote Up (34)

One shouldn't just assume that everything is handled by the provider, even if their sales representatives try to make it sound as such. That adage "trust by verify" is pretty accurate - first you'd make a baseline assessment of what the cloud provider says, and run some tests where possible. But it's also a good idea to try to come up with your own policies or procedures that won't place private data at risk on the server. For instance, I'm often asked for my social security number by folks who have no business capturing that kind of data. You might want to look at the data your company is storing on the cloud, and make a determination that some data needs to be hashed and salted, then encrypted in such a manner so that when it's on the cloud, it doesn't pose a risk.

jimlynch
Vote Up (25)

Hi dblacharski,

I think you need to research potential providers, and also have a clear list of things to be on the lookout for as you go about your research. Here's an interesting article about how to evaluate cloud computing providers that might help you get started.

How to Evaluate Cloud Computing Providers
http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/06/01/how-to-evaluate-c...

Snippet:

"Enterprises looking to outsource infrastructure to cloud computing providers face a bewildering number of choices today. New cloud providers are popping up every month and many traditional service providers are rebranding services as cloud hosting. So how does your enterprise evaluate and select the right cloud platform?

First off, as most Data Center Knowledge readers may know, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud platforms are a viable alternative to traditional server and storage infrastructure. And while this article will focus on IaaS, many of my points are relevant for Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) clouds, too."

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