Cloud Computing Security: How Secure Is The Cloud?

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Cloud Computing Security: How Secure is the Cloud?


Table of Contents


Background of the Study1

Research Aims and Objectives3

Significance of the Study3

Hypothesis/Research Question4


Cloud Computing5

Cloud Computing: Advantages and Disadvantages5

Cloud Computing Security Concerns9


Search Technique12

Inclusion and exclusion criteria12

Search terms - key terms13


Chapter 1: Introduction

Background of the Study

Cloud computing is the area which has gained wide attention in all kinds of industries (Zhang, 2010, 7). It is a widely used computing technique which provides three main models SaaS (Software as a service), PaaS (Platform as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service). These models work on a pay-per-use system and provide users the ability to access their database and applications remotely. Very common examples are Google's App Engine, Amazon's EC2 and S3 and Microsoft Azure. The services provided by the clouds include resources like data storage or software and hardware services (Sultan, 2010, 109). Users can use these resources at very low cost on pay-per-use method. The data owners can save the cost of installing and maintaining their own new software or hardware by moving their businesses into the clouds.

Cloud computing has several key characteristics that differentiate it from other forms of computing such as standalone computing, mobile computing, grid computing, and other computing methods. The cloud may be combined or used in conjunction with other types of computing environments such as mobile computing, whereby a mobile device would access cloud-based data (Durkee, 2010, 62).

Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer for Amazon is a pioneer and early adopter of cloud computing. Amazon's cloud computing services have been available since 2006, making it one of the early market leaders. Amazon's S3 storage service stores roughly 18 billion objects in the cloud (Zhang, 2010, 9).

Cloud computing systems have broad network access capabilities that allow connectivity through standard protocols and from a variety of network, personal, and mobile devices. Resource pooling is another important characteristic of cloud computing systems (Sultan, 2010, 111). Various resources including network devices, security services, storage, application servers, and other components are pooled together in a fashion not limited by geography, location or geopolitical boundaries such as country, region, state, and municipality. Resources may be combined to provide for efficiency and priority scheduling (Siegel, 2010, 40).

But the main problem lies in the fact that the data owner cannot always trust the cloud because the cloud could be outside the data owner's trusted domain. This fact creates the problem of sensitive data leakage or data loss from clouds. The data in clouds could be very confidential and sensitive and must not be disclosed to unauthorised persons. Also, the recent outages like Amazon's server crash and Netsuit's black out raise question about the reliability of cloud computing (Siegel, 2010, 41). Amazon is considered one of the biggest cloud providing companies, and if it can fail then other providers are not reliable either. These incidents occurred because of server crashes, but in future, the cloud may suffer from data modification and data loss because of unauthorised access ...
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