Cloud Computing Security and Privacy

Here is a truth about Cloud Computing Security and Privacy

No cloud computing service in the world will offer you a 100% guarantee that their services will not be hacked or compromised in any way. Try it. Ask your preferred vendor for a 100% guarantee the failure of which will have serious financial repercussions. They will hem and haw and give you all sorts of wishy washy statements.

Cloud computing offers great benefits - centrally managed and backed up computing and data. On the other hand it throws up tremendous security and privacy challenges.

How does one go about ensuring the security and privacy of one's data?

Privacy issues

The challenges to one's data are manifold

The data is available to the service provider. Even though the service provider may have a privacy policy, the service provider's ability to enforce the privacy policy may be another issue.

The service provider's employees may be compromised. Recently there have been profile cases of government employees looking at personal data of prominent personalities. The service provider's employees usually do not go through as rigorous a screening process as government employees.

Data may be compromised by legal proceedings.If the data is stored in a clear form on the cloud computing server, a competitor may file a law suit and serve a subpoena on the service provider. The service provider will have no choice but to comply.

Data loss due to malicious intrusionsThe cloud computing service provider's computers may be hacked by malicious agents. For example, there were reports of Google having been hacked by Chinese hackers. Yahoo and Hotmail user accounts are regularly compromised. There are reports of offshore services that offer to break into cloud computing accounts for a fee.

Security Issues

What happens if the servers at the cloud computing service providers go down? Of course any reputable service provider will have extensive backups and disaster recovery options.

Another threat is your account at the cloud computing service provider may be compromised and the attacker will delete all the data.

But do you really know what is going on. Is there an iron clad guarantee that your data will be there?

It is advisable to maintain a separate backup of all your data, no matter how reputable the service provider. It does not have to be done every day, but should be.

Possible Solutions

One way to ensure Cloud Computing Security and Privacy is to only store encrypted data on the cloud. The data is processed by a smart, secure client that decrypts the data from the cloud, processes it, re encrypts the data and stores it back on the cloud.

Return from Cloud Computing Security and Privacy to Security and Privacy Software