The cloud industry is booming, but there are still many CIOs who are reluctant to turn over their operations to the cloud. Many of them cite a laundry list of security concerns. Fortunately for cloud providers and their customers, most if not all of these issues are fixable or will become fixable as cloud computing matures.
The following are some common security concerns regarding cloud hosting:
- Data storage – How do you know the data on your cloud provider’s servers is secure? It should definitely be encrypted, and ideally only you should have the ability to decrypt it.
- Data transfer – As with storage, the transfer of data from point A to point B should be encrypted and well protected by secure authentication.
- Data segregation – Inevitably, cloud users will share resources with other users, but that does not mean the data should have any chance of being shared without user consent. Moreover, using virtualization and encryption, a provider can ensure data on one user’s space is not threatened if another user’s gets compromised.
- User access control – Many cloud providers give you the tools to create user accounts for your organization, but they should also provide controls that allow you to finely tune user permissions. Most users do not need unfettered access, but some may need more access than others.
These security concerns are all valid and definitely issues a CIO should consider before adopting cloud computing. But they are all manageable if cloud providers take the necessary steps to secure user data.