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Are We Managing Information Security in Cloud Technology?

Managed service providers for cloud technology are becoming established in all parts of the world. Companies are merging in order to strengthen their portfolio of hosted services including software, servers, applications, system monitoring, data storage and backups, operating systems, collaboration tools, and more. With a growing trend toward cloud infrastructure—whereby virtual services are provided in lieu of purchasing expensive, high-maintenance on-premise equipment—new security threats are on the minds of enterprise service providers and customers.

While providers of cloud-based computing ensure low-cost, pay-as-you-go options, high performance and high availability, security concerns are in the forefront. Because of the rise in security issues for advancing technologies over recent months, there is considerable emphasis on security for 2013. Cloud service providers are working hard to obtain the trust of their customers.

Cloud Vs. On-Premise Security

While security concerns are widespread among companies and IT managers are making it a high priority, cloud and security experts are beginning to suggest that cloud platforms are in fact more secure than on-premise server architecture. The reason is that cloud-based web application security requires a different approach than that of on-premise server applications. The pay-per-service model most cloud service providers offer also means pay-per-application, pay-per-tenant, and pay-per-resource for security controls. This type of cloud-based multi-tenancy security control is quite different from on-premise security options in that it is designed to keep tenants safe from each other. In addition to secured network measures, cloud providers are also known to encrypt client data well in advance of any web transmission.

Cloud-Based Security Findings

In terms of cloud security, according to AlertLogic, based on a six-month study that was completed in 2012, findings show, “…that the greatest security threat in enterprise data centers and cloud environments is indeed the web application attack.” The survey results actually point out good news for cloud-based security. “The frequency of attacks experienced by enterprise data centers was higher across the board than cloud hosting provider environments.” The study made these additional key points:

  • The cloud is no less safe
  • Enterprise data centers experience more sophisticated types of attacks
  • Different types of IT environments experience different threats
  • Cloud attacks are minimal in comparison to attacks in other platforms
  • Cloud hosted environments often face a smaller range of threats

Cloud technology is driving improved information security, and managed service providers are competing to provide cutting-edge solutions to small, medium, and enterprise level customers around the world. Information technology specialists are responding to this ongoing effort with zero tolerance cloud-based security models that will serve the web community both now and in the future. Web-based infrastructure may be more secure now than ever before.

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Mary is a leading trainer in Microsoft® and Business Applications.

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