Security Risks in Cloud Computing

The cloud creates one location for all the users’ information to be stored and easily accessed. Storing data over the internet on a server brings up a huge security risk to all users. Since it is on a server connected to the internet it is susceptible to internet hackers and foreign countries. Using the cloud presents a major security risk to companies or individual users. Since it is easy for them to access their data from one central location it also lets the hackers do that same thing. The cloud creates a single point of failure if it gets hacked by an individual or another country.

A single point of allure is one of the worst security measures to be used. A good security system has multiple different layers incorporated into it so it becomes more difficult to break into. Leaving all information on one central location gives the hacker an easy target with only one account to hack to gain information on multiple different data files and user accounts. Another problem with the cloud technology is that the server the data is stored on could be located in a different country. This causes a major security risk for the companies and individual user’s since different countries have different laws leaning with electronic data.

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A hacker could hack into information that is stored on a server located in a country with relaxed electronic data laws, and get away with stealing important information from a company or a private user. The hacker could be stealing data tiles that include company’s secrets, employee personal intimation, or personal data such as passwords for Backbone, twitter, Gamma, bank accounts and so on. Using the cloud can be a very strong technological tool if it is used smartly. A user cannot let the cloud be a single point of failure for all its other accounts.

Certain security measures need to be used on top of the ones that the company uses to store individual users information. The user needs to make sure that there are multiple layers of security with different passwords for each separate account, and not store all personal information on a cloud network. Cloud technology is a great way of the future, but now people need to be knowledgeable on what they put out on the internet, where their information is stored, and what can happen if all their information gets compromised by a malicious user. Cloud technology will always present a high security risk to data.

Introduction Cloud computing is a remarkable resource that allows a user or company to store all their data files on a central network that can be accessed anywhere through the internet. Cloud computing is one of technologies greatest accomplishment of this century. Cloud computing helps many people and businesses since it allows them greater storage space offset that can be connected to anywhere that has internet. This gives individual people and company’s greater flexibility in life so they do not have to deal with bulky hard drives or mass rooms of servers on site.

The cloud gives people and companies more back up space for important files and information that they have. Individuals may use the cloud for personal documents, music, phone APS, pictures, and videos. Companies may use it for storing vast number of personal files, company documents, and company secrets of the trade. This makes things much easier and cheaper on people and companies so they do not have to have a bunch of storage space on site costing them money in floor space and maintenance. With advantages to technology there are always drawbacks.

The idea of having one place where all information is stored brings up the major problem with askers. Cloud computing makes it much simpler for them to hack into one group of files and steal or alter mass documents at one single time. This single point of failure is not what most people or companies want with their data and brings up a major security risk in cloud computing. What is Cloud Computing? Cloud computing is defined by “Internet based computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked so as to allow sharing of data processing tasks, centralized data storage, and online access to computer services or resources. [1] Cloud computing is usually offered by wide range of different vendors for specific services depending if it is only for personal use or for a big corporation. Some of the major cloud computing companies include Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Most people use the cloud for personal reasons such as backing up their computer documents, pictures, and music. Personal Use of Cloud In today’s society people are connected to their phones, computers, pad, or tablets on a constant basis.

When using multiple devices people like to have everything connected so they have their documents, music, pictures, and videos at all times. One major way that people accomplish this is through the use of the cloud. For apple products they have the cloud which connects all apple products together by one central account though a common user name and password t . I connects a person’s phone to their pad, and also their Macomb and Apple TV. All devices then share the same data though the Apple cloud. When a person uses their phone to take a picture, or download a song from tunes then it automatically uploaded to the cloud.

When the other devices are connected to the internet they check the cloud to e if anything new has been uploaded and simultaneously download the picture or music to that device. This way a person has every document, picture, video, and music file anytime that they want with any device that they want. This makes life much easier from the days of sending files through email or even using a USB device to transfer files from one computer to another. This cloud computing is the next wave of technology to make life even easier than it was.

Technology is evolving rapidly from the old days of floppy disks to rewritable Cad’s to USB devices and now onto cloud computing. Having this information in an instant on any device that you have liked to a cloud account gives a person much more flexibility in backing up their files while also having them no matter where they are. The days of writing something down and remembering where it is when you need it is over. Everything will be shared on personal devices so people have instant access to them anytime they want where ever they are.

Company Use of Cloud A major debate that goes on in a company is what percentage of the budget gets spent on the IT budget. This includes IT personal, helpless, the servers the many uses to store data, and how much protection and cyber security their networks will have. A major debate that goes on is what kind of servers and storage networks the company will use to protect its documents for both sensitive and non- sensitive information. Some sensitive information could include company secrets or how they manufacture a product, or data such as personal files of employee’s personal information.

Non-sensitive information could be document such that employees work on such as Powering presentations, word files, excel files, or any email traffic that occurs. The common debate is whether to have servers for the many network on site or to contract out this process though a larger corporation that specializes in network server with security measures already ensured. A company may use a cloud service though another company for many reasons. One reason is to save the floor space that multi servers take up in order to have the network in house to the company.

Having the servers in house also meaner more maintenance costs to the company since they have the employee workers to make sure that they are always running up to optimal conditions. Servers also have to be kept in a special room with special ventilation to make sure that they are cool at all mimes. Along with the personal and specialized rooms the servers need more employees that employ cyber security tactics for the company to ensure that their information is protected from outside hackers and other companies that may be trying to steal its secretes.

Another method for a company to use is the cloud which they pay another company that specializes in server and networking to do all of these things for them. This company has a building of servers offset of the company either in America or in Europe. These companies have large facilities of servers and specialize in this area for other companies. When a company uses this service it takes off a large burden from needing servers on site taking up valuable office or production space, and the need tort well-trained technicians and cyber security experts in order to keep their data safe.

Cloud computing gives them the availability to store all their files off site and be able to access them from anywhere over the internet. This makes it convenient for their employees to work from home, or easily remote in if they are on a business trip and out of the immediate area. It gives employees greater access and ease to work documents so they can work from almost anywhere. Advantages of Cloud Computing With technology evolving so rapidly in the 21st century many advantages come out of this world of computers that we live in now a days. One of the biggest advancements people and companies are taking advantage of is cloud computing.

People are taking advantage of this technology by having all of their devices connected together and can connect to any file or document that they want at any given time. Companies are taking advantage of this technology by cutting cost and using servers offset while gaining network security. Cloud computing is making everyday tasks easier and more efficient for individuals and companies. Advantages of Cloud Computing for Individuals Most individual people wished that there was more time in any given day and that they are always pressed for time.

Whether it be a full work day followed by extracurricular activities due to family, friends or personal time, or working 12-14 hour days of overtime people want to get as much out of each day as possible. One way that cloud computing has made this an easier task for people always on the go is by giving them the ability to connect all their work, or personal devices over one revere. Cloud computing has changed the way people function within the last 5 years. Early in the computing stages floppy disks were the main way to transfer files from computer to computer.

This was then evolved into re writable Cad’s and then onto USB devices. If a person was working on big school project or work task they would usually Just save their file to the hard drive of the computer they were working on. As time evolved and hacking and viruses became more of a threat people started backing up files on wither a USB device or a CD. If you ever wanted to transfer this ill to another computer and work on the project of a school computer or another work computer than you would have to carry the CD or USB drive with you personally and load it onto a different machine.

USB drives then were found to be pre-loaded with viruses so many companies and universities started to ban the use of these outside devices on their computers due to the fear of viruses being introduced into their networks. Working on documents at any given time took time to plan ahead to either load the files onto a USB or CD or email the file to a personal email account and download it to a different computer. This was also the time when smart phone started becoming popular with the first big one being the Apple phone. Many people already were familiar with the companies’ music device which was the pod.

Consumers that were loyal to the company also had their laptop which was call a Macomb. Soon people wanted their music that was already downloaded to their Macomb and also loaded onto their pod onto their phone. This took many repetitive steps in order to get the same exact music and plastic that were already loaded onto their music device onto their phone as well. Around the same time cloud computing was being introduced. This was a way to have everything connects on a “cloud” This was a way to store all intimation on an external device and be able to server. Access it from multiple devices at the same time.

This took away the need to always be “connect” by a hard wire to another system. Now instead off person taking repetitive steps in order to get documents, music, or pictures onto multiple devices they all connect through a cloud. This cloud network is set up though a specific surname and password that all devices connect to. Once a music file is downloaded onto a computer, or a picture is taken on an individual’s phone, or a document is edited on an pad that file is updated and uploaded onto the cloud. Automatically each device that a person owns is updating from the cloud data so everything is completely synced together.

This automatic process takes a huge burden off each individual that wants access to their music, pictures, or documents where ever they go, and with any device that they possess at that time. This semi-automatic process that happens for people greatly decreases their time in making sure all their files are correctly backed up and that they have the most up to date music, pictures, and edited documents on every device that they own. The image below shows an example on how cloud computing connects all devices to one central “cloud. ” Fig 1. “Xii Technology. ” Xii Technology.

N. P. , n. D. Web. 07 Par. 2013. ;http:// www. Ichthyology. Com/tag/cloud-computing;. Fig 1. “Xii Technology. ” Xii Technology. N. P. , n. D. Web. 07 Par. 2013. ;http://www. Ichthyology. Com/tag/ cloud-computing;. Advantages of Cloud Computing for Companies Just like individuals most companies are taking advantage of all the new technology that is available to them to more efficiently run a business. Cloud computing gives companies many different capabilities. One of the biggest advantages that cloud computing offers is cost saving to a company.

Having servers for a large network on site is very costly to maintain and make sure all security requirements are met for the company. Servers on site take up a lot of floor space in a building and have to specialized rooms Just for them. Servers are like giant computer so they tend to get very hot when multiple of them are located in a server room. These rooms must be property ventilated and cooled so the servers are kept at optimal temperature to run. The servers are a huge part of the company since this s their whole network that runs the day to day operations of the company.

If a server goes down money could be lost or work productivity could significantly go down. Also a company must pay trained people in order to maintain these servers. This also adds to the cost of having servers on site. Along with the trained individual to maintain the servers a company must also employ trained IT personal in order to make sure that their servers and networks are properly protected by ant virus measures and firewalls so the company does not get hacked or be infected with a virus that could derail the company completely. Cloud computing saves a company in multiple ways.

First cloud computing takes all the servers that would need to be installed on site and lets them bee offset at another companies facility. This decreases on the size of building a company needs which decreases rent cost or introduces even more space for a company to have offices or production lines in service. It also cuts cost tort a company since they do not nave to remodel a specialized room for the servers to run in with their own A/C unit and control. Another cost that is cut is personal that a company would need to operate the servers on site.

This would include people who maintain the servers and the IT personal who monitor and keep the server up to date with security requirements. The company contracts their server needs to another company who specialize in the server industry. Company A would pay company B x amount of dollars a month to use a specific amount of space on a set of servers. Company B would offer company A all the server support that they need for their company while also making sure that the servers have all security measures up to date and the information is protected from outside sources. Security Risks of Cloud Computing

With all the benefits that improved technology brings to the public it also brings even more security risks. Now that most information is electronic it is pretty simple to find out where a person lives, what their phone number is, and what their email address is by doing a simple Google search of them. With information so easily distributed in the electronic age it is fairly effortless to gain valuable information on a person. This information could be valuable to any hacker that would like to hack into a personal account or even a work account of a certain individual. Getting as much information on the person is the first step.

Once all the information is assembled and together it will become rather easy to do some trivial hacks. Mat Honda who is a senior writer for Wirer’s Gadget Lab recently was hacked and had his whole digital life turned upside down. He states that, “If you have an Appealed, every time you call Pizza Hut, you’ve giving the 16-year-old on the other end of the line all he needs to take over your entire digital life. ” [5] He explains in his article how simple hacking can be and that it does not take a computer scientist to hack the most basic account that people use every day.

Cloud computing makes this basic hacking skill even easier since it is a one stop shop for an abundance of information. Instead of having information stored in various places people and companies are putting all their eggs in one basket making them an easy target. Cloud computing gives a hacker the ability to hack into one central account and get information that they need or additional information that is needed to get into another account they are interested in. Another reason cloud computing is becoming so dangerous is because the companies that store personal or companies data may not have their facilities located in the United States.

Different countries have different laws that apply to network and personal data. The law does not apply to where the actual person resides but where the information is physically located on a server. So if a person or company is located in America yet there are using a cloud computing company who has servers located in Europe the cloud computing company may not be required by law to inform the person or company or person that their information has been compromised. All these factor are a major risk of cloud computing and is the drawback of all the comfort and luxury of improved technology.

Most people and impasses feel like ease and effectiveness of outweigh the risk associated with cloud computing. Security Risks of Individual Most security risks to individual people are themselves. People tend to be very lazy and predictable in the day to day things that they do. One of the most common practices that people have is choosing a password that meaner something to them. This could be a pets name, a favorite color, favorite numbers, their child’s name, or a combination of all these things.

Another habit that most people have is that all their passwords are identical so once a hacker figures one out it is open season on the rest f their accounts. Another security issue that people bring upon themselves is having the same email address linked to every account they own. These tendencies all have to do with laziness and ease of use for the common person. Most people don’t think that they are worth being hacked besides their bank accounts which are usually already protected up too certain monetary value though the bank.

Most people also believe that the security Apple, Google, or Amazon provide is enough to keep them safe and that they can fully trust all these companies with their information. Mat Honda who was mentioned previously has a firsthand experience of being hacked and can show why people should not leave all their security precautions up to these companies. Mat shows how it was completely his fault and how having all his accounts daisy chained together on top of trusting all the previous companies with his information led to his downfall. In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter. And worst of all, my Appealed account was broken into, and my hackers used it to account was compromised, and used as a platform to roadways racist and homophobic messages remotely erase all of the data on my phone, pad, and Macomb. In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gamma, which gave them access to Twitter.

Had I used two-factor authentication for my Google account, it’s possible that none of this would have happened, because their ultimate goal was always to take over my Twitter account and wreak havoc. ” [5] This firsthand account shows how simple it is for a hacker to get into an individual’s personal information. Getting into one account helped the hacker get into sequential accounts after until the hacker had full control of all accounts. This shows how linking all persona accounts and only using one email address between all accounts can greatly increase an individual’s chances of becoming hacked.

Daisy chaining accounts makes people easy targets and makes it effortless for hackers to break in to all accounts possible. A good way to prevent this from happening to personal accounts is to make sure you use two factor authorizations like Mat has stated he should have done. “Authorizations are made up of three basic factors. What you know, what you have, and who you are. When two factor authorizations are used the user needs to be in possession of two out of the three basic factors. The normal process that companies or people use is what you know and what you have elements.

What you know is something such as a user name and password. What you have usually corresponds too smart card, like they use in the military, or a USB drive. A typically way this works is you need to have a smart card in possession to have the what you have part then the what you know part is the surname and password that corresponds to the smart radar you are using. The two factors combined together give a person the two factor authorization. ” [6] Another way people can take precautions is make nard passwords to break such as 12-16 character password that contains numbers, symbols, and letters in a random order.

A password should not contain words or phrases that are in the dictionary or relate to your personal life. According to Geoff Duncan from Digital trends increasing your password length alone from 8 characters to 16 character increases the difficulty in cracking a password. “If an eight-character password can have 1. Quadrillion possible combinations, imagine how many a 16- character password can have? (About 2. 8 million, or 2. 830. ) However, perhaps more importantly, the set of values for a 16-character password using common terms and variations is Just under 1. Quintillion, where it was Just over a billion with an eight- character password. Using longer passwords is the easiest way to make passwords more complex and more secure. ” [2] This increase in password combination decreases the chance that a hacker could use brute force and guess all the combinations possible in order to crack the password. The personal risks of cloud computing to individuals are out there yet are very minimal. Individuals mostly have personal data to lose such as Mat Honda did in the example above.

People are willing to take that personal risk on a day to day basis and Just hope that they are not a victim to these attacks. The loss of music, pictures, documents, or even a twitter account will not have a long lasting impact on an individual’s life like a security breach would from a company such as stolen documents of proprietary information or trade secrets. Individual people will Just experience a minor obstacle in life and will recover from it after a short period of time. Security Risks for Companies Every company deals with the important question of how to keep company data and information safe on a daily basis.

From small or medium sized company to huge companies such as Google, or Apple the question of security exists. The security risk increases as the size of the business increases as well. A small mistake due too security breach in a small to medium business may not be as widely publicized as a security breach in companies such as Google or Apple who deal mostly with individual’s personal information. As the business grows so does the risk of a security breach and economic effect of a security failure. Companies starting to use the “cloud” must be very careful do to the security concerns associated with this new technology.

Small to medium sized companies may feel that the benefit outweighs the risk of cloud computing due to the fact that they do not have the overhead in the company to pay for their own servers, networks, and IT specialist. They can receive all the same technology that a large companies possess while paying substantially less. In a recent survey by ISAAC, a nonprofit association of 100,000 IT professionals, fully two-thirds (66 percent) of small or midsized companies feel that the risk of cloud computing outweighs the benefit. [4] Smaller companies may see that the benefits outweigh the risks of the company sense they do not have as much to lose. A small company may see the benefits that cloud computing gives them worth the risk that they present. A smaller company may not deal with a lot of customer’s personal data so they would not have a huge crisis of distrust from the public if their network or lies were hacked. Also small companies may not see a big threat or inconvenience using the cloud though unavailability, theft of data, or data released to the public by hackers.

Cloud computing could increase the ease of hackers on company files and documents which is already a huge concern for most companies. “In 2010 the organizational cost of a data breach was $7. 2 million with the cost per record at $214. It has sense declined in 2011 to $5. 5 million with the cost per record declining to $194. This is the first time in seven year that there has been a decline in data breach cost. [8] This report from Symantec show how widespread hacking is on companies in the United States. Each record that is compromised costs a company $194 which is not a cheap price to pay.

Hundreds of thousands of records get hacked at one time so this price tag will easily become a hefty price after it is all said and done. Using the “cloud” could make these hacks even greater due to the fact that millions of files will all be contained in one central location for a hacker to have access to. With this high price tag that has only declined once in the past 7 years the benefit to risk f cloud computing will need to be debated by a company internally. Will outsourcing data to a cloud computing company using their cloud server protect data better than it would be internally? This is a question for each company internally.

The benefits of cloud computing need to greatly outweigh the risks of loss of data due to hacking, data unavailability due to server outages, and stolen information due to hacking. There are many security risks that come along with cloud computing so each company needs to make sure it will be the right technology to use, and gain the most advantage for the company. Location of Cloud Computing Severs The location of where the cloud computing servers are located could be a security risk for an individual or company as well. Many countries do not have any governance over data that is kept on the internet.

The data is only under the law of where it is actually located. An example of this is when an individual or company located in the United States uses a cloud computing third party such as Google. Google has many servers that are located overseas and in different countries other than the United States. Those countries could have very relaxed laws over personal information. If the server get hacked with personal or company data located on it Google may not be required by law to inform the individual or company that their sensitive information has been compromised.

Google as a company does not want to voluntarily release that the information was hacked for fear of the customer feeling distrust in Google and the repercussions and publicity that could follow to hurt the company’s reputation. Below shows a map of the world and the privacy ad data protection by country. Fig 2. “Forester’s Global Data Protection and Privacy Hetman. ” Forester’s Global Data Protection and Privacy Hetman. N. P. , n. D. Web. 07 Par. 2013. <http:// hetman. Effortlessly. Com/>. Fig 2. “Forester’s Global Data Protection and Privacy Hetman. Forester’s Global Data Protection and Privacy Hetman. N. P. , n. D. Web. 07 Par. 2013. <http://hetman. Effortlessly. Com/>. As shown from the figure above many countries have minimal or no privacy and data protection. Many people and companies do not know where their data physically resides. Most people are too lazy or uncaring to know where their data is kept. Companies should be more interned on where their data is located since they usually possess customer’s data and need greater security in their systems to protect themselves and their customers.

Conclusion Cloud computing is one of the fastest and greatest technological advancements that the world has had in many years. It can be used as a great resource for bother individuals and companies. It makes the way information is transferred and shared effortless. For individuals it gives them the availability to be connected to all their personal documents, music, and data at all times. All of the devices that they own can be connected together and all contain the same information. Each device updates automatically so no matter what device an individual is using they will have all their current and up to date information.

A company can use this technology to save costs on IT personal and equipment. It could make a business run more efficiently and effective than it was in the past. This technology has many advantages and possibilities for both individuals and companies to benefit from. With all the advantages of technology there also come risks. A big risk for both individuals and a companies is hackers. Hackers are a security risk for anyone using the internet or keeping data over servers and networks. The cloud presents an issue unlike any other since all information would be located in one central location.