There’s an assumption people make that if they put their data in the cloud it is less secure. There are three aspects to security: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. They are known as the CIA security model.
Private data is kept confidential using encryption. This might require encrypting the data in the database. When transporting data across the internet, it requires using the HTTPS protocol. Whether using the cloud or local servers this does not change. It is our responsibility to secure our data no matter where it is physically stored.
Integrity is maintained in distributed systems by verifying messages sent between computers have not tampered with. This is also achieved by using the HTTPS protocol. Again, this does not change when using the cloud.
Data should only be made available to those who are allowed to see it. This is done through some sort of authentication process, along with rules that govern access to the data. Authentication can be done using passwords, digital certificates, biometrics, passcodes, keys etc.
Without a secure infrastructure, you can’t achieve the CIA’s of security. Servers must be patched, firewalls need to be configured, access to physical hardware needs to be limited, intrusion-detection systems need to be put in place, etc. Securing the infrastructure is very expensive and requires a great deal of administration.
This is where we can take advantage of a cloud provider’s economies of scale and expertise, to make our systems more secure! The fact is, very few people can afford to do what Microsoft and Amazon do to secure their data centers. And even if you can afford it, do you have the people who know how to do it?
To better understand why this is so, read the links below which describe what Microsoft and Amazon do to secure their data centers. Then, compare what they do, to what your organization does. You will likely realize that your data would be considerably MORE secure in the cloud than it is in your computer room.
If you want to learn more about cloud computing and how it can benefit your organization, come to one of the courses in Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing curriculum.