Introduction

Cloud Computing is considered as a way for businesses to take advantage of storage and virtual services through the Internet, saving money on infrastructure. It is viewed as the next-generation architecture where it moves the application software and databases to the centralized large data centers. Yet, since the information is not stored, analyzed, or computed on site, this can open privacy, security, trust, and compliance issues. Data Security in cloud computing covers significant aspects of securing data in the Cloud. This one-stop guide covers a broad range of data security in cloud computing.

  1. What is Cloud Computing?
  2. Security of Cloud storage 
  3. Data Integrity in Cloud Computing
  4. Data security challenges in Cloud Computing
  5. Privacy in Cloud Computing

1. What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is an Internet-based network made up of large numbers of servers – mostly based on open standards, modular and inexpensive. These are shared resources, software, and information that are used by end-users hosted on virtual servers. Based on a deployment model, we can classify the cloud as a public, private, hybrid, and community cloud.

A survey by rightScale demonstrated that adoption of private and public models increased last year. Reasons behind this maybe fast time to market, less operating costs, and higher flexibility. With a better usage of the concepts of cloud computing, the cloud storage has became a great way to run a business as it offers numerous advantages over on-premises infrastructure. This ease of usage comes with a potential risk of security and privacy in cloud computing.

There is a chance of issues in cloud security  when using hybrid cloud or public cloud. This happens when the data is processed during migration or for migration or within the cloud itself after the data is received. Cloud data protection is important and hence data security in cloud computing has been a prevailing issue and one should be ready to solve this in every step along the way.

2. Security of Cloud storage 

Besides its potential benefits, Cloud Computing also introduces the difficulty of protecting the security and privacy of data outsourced by cloud users. Data security in the cloud has been imperative for the service providers, and they meet the basic standards. Whatever may be the platform selected, there is always a discourse between Azure, AWS Azure and  Google, all have various compliances to  different standards like  ISO, HIPAA, SOC. On the other hand, in cloud computing (except private clouds) cloud service providers and users may not be under the same trust domain.

In applications like healthcare, cloud service providers(CSPs), and/or their system administrators may not even be allowed to access sensitive user data when providing cloud data protection according to corresponding regulations/compliances. The cloud service providers should be able to provide necessary security services to meet individual cloud users’ security requirements while abiding by the regulations/compliances.

In non-sensitive applications, it is also, vital to ensure the protection of cloud users’ critical data and help them verify the security of cloud storage services. Nonetheless, because the cloud service providers proffer compliance doesn’t give clients the option to renounce their basic responsibilities. They also share some responsibilities which make data security in cloud computing a challenge.

Your data ought to be shielded from unapproved authorization despite of your cloud options, which incorporates data encryption and controls the access the data. There may circumstances where you need to make information accessible to certain users in specific situations. The initial step is to find out sensitive data and characterize them. The location of sensitive data is identified, organise the data types, and make policies based on which data can be enter in the cloud and which cannot.

There are many automated tools help in identifying an organization’s sensitive data and where it dwells. Azure Information Protection (AIP) is used by MS Azure while Amazon Web Services has Macie for classifying the data by using labels. Other Third-party options like Fivetran, Tableau, Looker, and Logikcull are also available. The most popular data security techniques in cloud computing include Multi-Tenancy based Access Control, SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Encryption, Intrusion Detection System.

3. Data Integrity in Cloud Computing

Data integrity is the affirmation that digital data is uncorrupted and can only be accessed or modified by authorized people. It includes keeping up the consistency, precision, and dependability of data. Maintaining data integrity is easy for single databases, but when it comes to data Integrity in cloud computing, especially in the multi-cloud environment, it poses a potential challenge.

As there is a huge number of data sources, authorization of data and the way to access becomes critical in indemnifying that only authorized personnel is operating on the data. A strict means of authorization, for example, two factor authorization, should be used.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) can be used as a powerful means of security in remote data checking. As the user data relies on unknown servers, Cloud Service Level Agreements (Cloud SLAs) are the significant component of the contract between a cloud service user and a cloud service provider. For example, Google Cloud Storage provides multiple storage types viz. regional storage, coldline storage, nearline storage, and multi-regional storage.

It has been modeled to give 99.99% durability. The data integrity is assured with the use of techniques like automatic checksums. In multi-regional storage, the data is stored in two regions which makes it less prone to data loss. One should make sure that the SLA allows specifying where the data needs to be stored.

For example, AWS users can decide on the region where the data will be stored. This becomes vital for compliance issues. Each cloud storage service has unique advantages, for example, Microsoft’s Azure blob storage can be used for most unstructured data whereas Amazon’s Glacier is fit to store rarely accessed data, while Google Cloud’s SQL is ideal for MySQL.

4. Data security challenges in Cloud Computing

As there is a higher emphasis on ensuring everything is safe and secure, and that there is no risk of data hacking or breaches, still as the Cloud is often shared between a lot of users, security becomes an immediate and primary concern for Cloud owners. If you are online you are at risk of data breaching or hacking, that is an undeniable fact. CSPs have a wide variety of security tools and policies in place but problems may still incur, usually originating in human error. The possible potential challenges include data breaches, data hacking, Cryptojacking, data loss, DDoS, and Insider threats.

5. Privacy in Cloud Computing

Data security and privacy in cloud computing are the two main factors of the user’s concerns about cloud technology. Data outsourcing to the cloud mainly raises issues related to data privacy. Data privacy in cloud computing presents a critical aspect of a business to protect sensitive data. Any infringement causes a great loss. Encryption is how data privacy can be protected. Every service provider encrypts the data during its transfer.

This encryption is mostly done via browser interfaces, even though few storage providers use a dedicated client. All these should be mentioned in the Service Level Agreement. privacy in the cloud still has some open issues which are either technical like policy enforcement effectiveness and data flow tracking or strategic like the awareness and sensitivity about privacy importance and the involvement of the CSP in the privacy-preserving process.

Conclusion

As the variety and velocity of data generation continue to grow day by day, The use of cloud services to store, process, and analyze the data is becoming increasingly popular. A cloud SLA (Service Level Agreement) is a bond between the cloud storage provider and the customer which ensures that a optimum level of service is preserved. The SLA have to give the description of services provided, service metrics definition, responsibilities, reliability levels, obligations, remedies and penalties in case of failure.

Before signing your SLA make sure of all these things!!

If you are looking for an extensive course in Cloud Computing, then the 5.5-month online Postgraduate Certificate Program In Cloud Computing offered by Jigsaw Academy can be of help. This program helps interested learners become complete Cloud professionals. 

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