The advent of cloud computing has required software and web developers to reexamine data security methods. To properly secure cloud-based networks, IT professionals must evolve their techniques for providing security to meet the new, specialized needs necessitated by the cloud. Classic network security procedures include the implementation of firewalls, anti-virus software, and identity authorization. These established security methods cannot be employed by businesses because the systems which make up the cloud will lie outside of the control of a given company’s reach – both in the physical sense and in the sense that the cloud will be maintained only by the Cloud Service Provider. However unique the security challenges posed by cloud computing, the desired outcome remains the same. Security in the cloud must be as high as traditional security on traditional data storage networks if it is to be successful. As businesses begin examining a switch from on-site data storage and management methods, they are presented with a perfect opportunity to examine security systems at the same time.
There may be an advantage abandoning the familiar security protocols, in that it allows security professionals to protect data against the most common threats, which typically occur from inside the company’s firewall. Security architects are beginning to see all networks as potentially untrustworthy, much like many business owners view the cloud. Newly designed security measures being implemented will be more robust and better suited to defend against not only outside attacks on data but attacks from inside as well.
Another consideration for companies transitioning to cloud-based data storage and management services is cost. A company that begins using cloud-based services already hopes to save on costs associated with data storage (i.e. physical servers and professionals to maintain them). Cost savings associated with security are no different. Paying for the design and implementation of security measures meant for on-site systems could be a thing of the past. Cloud service providers can invest in more powerful security measures at a lower cost because of the centralized nature of the cloud network, saving the provider money – savings which would presumably be based down to the cloud network subscribers.
Cloud computing is a new and still developing data storage model that creates some new and interesting challenges for developers and security professionals alike. These challenges present opportunities to grow and improve upon current methods. The most effective security measures will likely be designed by reinforcing protection against known security threats and possible weaknesses created by cloud-based services. There may also be problems not yet considered which will need solutions. Through some great design and thorough some trial and error cloud computing should open the door to less costly data management and even more security than ever before.