Cloud Computing Security Issues and Challenges

cloud computing

Though it is a very useful technology, cloud computing is not known by many people. It is in fact a delivering of computing not as a product, but rather as a service. Through this, computers and other devices receive shared resources, information and software as a utility (such as the electricity grid) through a network, generally the Internet. Clouds can be further classified as private, public or hybrid.

When it comes to the cloud deployment model, there are some services that have to scale up or down, according to the demand, namely the software infrastructure, networking, storage and platform. Moreover, the cloud computing model can be classified into 3 main deployment models:

  • Private cloud
  • Public cloud
  • Hybrid cloud

Following these cloud deployment models, there is one security consideration related to the delivery models of the cloud computing service. The cloud service delivery models in their turn split into three categories:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service

    This is a single tenant cloud layer in which the dedicated resources of the cloud computing vendor can only be shared with any contracted client for a pay-per-use type of fee. This means that it can minimize the necessity of a huge initial investment for hardware dedicated to computing, like networking devices, servers or processing power. Moreover, they let you use varying degrees of functional and financial flexibility, which is not usually found with collocation services or other internal data centers, and this happens because the computing resources can be added and released much faster and cheaper than in the latter cases.

    Thanks to the IaaS and other similar services, businesses and startups could focus on the core competencies without having to think too much about the management and provisioning of their own infrastructure. This type abstracted the hardware under it and let users take infrastructure as a service, without having to know anything about the complexities lying underneath. This cloud has a compelling value proposition when it comes to the cost, but an out of the box type of IaaS offers some basic security measures, such as load balancing, perimeter firewall and so on.

  2. Platform as a service

    This refers to a set of development tools and software which is hosted by the servers of the provider. It is placed one layer above the IaaS on the stack, plus it abstracts everything related to middleware, OS etc. This means that it offers you an integrated set for the developer environment, which you as a developer can tap into to build your application without even knowing what is happening inside the service.

    It brings you a service with a life cycle management of the complete software development, from design to planning to building apps and deploying them, to testing and maintenance. As a developer, you don’t even need to see the rest. This cloud layer works just like the IaaS, only that it offers an extra layer of “rented” functionality, meaning that whoever is using the PaaS service transfer more costs from capital investment to operational expenses.

  3. Software as a Service

    This is a software distribution model where the applications get hosted by a service provider or a vendor. They are made available for the customers through a network, usually the Internet. SaaS is a prevalent delivery model, since its underlying technologies support web services and a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and mature and as the new developmental approaches are increasingly popular. SaaS is often times linked to a pay-as-you-go subscription licensing model.

    At the same time, the broadband service is more and more available for supporting user access from several areas around the world. It’s most often used in order to provide a business software functionality to enterprise customers for really low costs, while letting them have the same benefits as the commercially licensed and internally operated software, leaving aside the complex process of installing, managing or supporting it.

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