As the government and private sector move more towards cloud computing, the question of security “in the cloud” is becoming a central component of the debate. There are a number of competing ideas regarding the best way to properly secure data being stored in the cloud.
For some government agencies, including the CIA, their cloud data is hosted and run internally, allowing the organization to implement its own security protocols. The CIA utilizes a perimeter type security defense, allowing them to better secure data without having to worry about individual computers. In the private sector, companies offer cloud services for individuals and organizations. Though there have been recent troubles with cloud computing, many organizations favor the model. It takes some of the security burden away from IT staff that may already be overwhelmed.
Some researchers advocate a proactive approach by individuals to secure data in the cloud. Cyber criminals can piece a significant amount of information together by information that is available online, at social networking sites for example. The less information available about yourself, such as birth date, name and place of employment, the more difficult it is for cyber criminals to steal your identity. Ensuring that important information, such as passwords, are not stored in email accounts hosted on outside servers is another important security protocol.
Despite these concerns, cloud computing seems to be the wave of the future. It is certainly an effective way to store data and does make security on some level easier. Instead of organizations having to defend multiple vulnerable areas (the old adage: he who guards everything guards nothing), security can be concentrated on the perimeter of the cloud with a variety of detection devices. Outsourcing the cloud security network also has significant advantages, particularly for smaller organizations. Many of the cloud computing packages offer a variety of security measures to choose from, enabling a customized security process in the cloud. Therefore, despite some of the risks associated with cloud computing, for many businesses, moving to a cloud computing model is more economically viable.