Cloud Computing Security Risks

Cloud computing has been hailed as the  “next big thing” in information technology: as Investors.com reports, it can “save companies money and keep them flexible.” At the same time, however, computing via the Internet cloud can also pose some serious security risks that have yet to be resolved.

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Does cloud computing imply a security risk?

Ponemon Institute, a security consulting firm, confirms that the cloud environment itself is what creates the extra “layer of complexity.” This has been demonstrated by the fact that one cloud vendor, Amazon, “now lists more than 100 software vendors as security providers building services on cloud computing.”

While most IT execs don’t completely trust cloud security, Ponemon has found that they also believe that “some of the issues can be solved by building better firewalls, better antivirus and antimalware solutions.” It’s true that Amazon and companies like it offer some safeguards “such as identity and access management features and authentication.” Nevertheless, the problem of who has access to what data and why can still confound IT administrators.

Hackers typically find their way into computer systems through exploiting weaknesses in connectivity. So the logical response is to beef up all paths of entry into those systems. But here’s the catch with cloud computing: “you can’t get your hands on physical server.” This is where the access problems can come into play.

A server located in a company office “or in the cloud has a built in firewall application that can guard it to fend off attacks.” Cloud users “reach these firewalls, as they handle everything else, remotely.” Providers supposedly have ways to manage this: and if the tools they offer don’t work, users can log in directly to the server pull up a Windows application that will.

The problem is that these methods often don’t work. As a result, frustrated IT administrators still leave “key ports open that can let an attacker in.”  They fear that if they close those ports, they will be unable to connect or manage their computers, which happens frequently.

Companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle Symantec and the startup cloud firewall firm Dome9 are hard at work creating  platforms and software systems to help make cloud computing safer. In the meantime, however, having a reliable source of computer assistance and advice like Austin Mobile Computer Repair is one of the best backups any business can have.

Find out how Austin Mobile Computer Repair can safeguard your computers. Call (512) 921-6517.
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