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Use of Cloud is Growing With Cloud Security Concerns

As companies moved to the cloud to simplify their IT management, including improving security, they’re learning that it’s not as simple as “shift applications to the cloud and watch the magic happen.”

It’s not that most organizations see it that way, but that is how it is when the companies feel it one way to better security. It’s why it’s been a rough couple of years for cloud security. And while recent vulnerabilities disclosed such as Spectre and Meltdown have cast a long shadow over the ability of enterprises to defend themselves enterprises need to be vigilant for potential exploitations.Network Data Connection - Use of Cloud is Growing With Cloud Security Concerns

One thing that security concerns are not expected to cast any shadow on cloud sales. A recent market research data released by QYResearch forecasted the global cloud computing industry to grow by roughly 26% from 2017 to 2022.

This current bevy of hardware flaws won’t slow that demand down any time soon. According to a report from Synergy Research, and reported in CRN, the overall cloud market grew 24% last year.

“Over the past four quarters leading up to September of 2017- essentially Q4 of 2016 to Q3 of 2017 – cloud sales, including on all services and all infrastructure products used for building clouds, achieved an overall market of $180 billion,” Joseph Tsidulko wrote in his story Cloud Computing: Now A $180 Billion Market.

According to the story, cloud infrastructure and platform services grew 47 percent, with hosted private cloud growing 30 percent. That’s quite a clip.

The unfortunate reality is, however, that many organizations don’t need a low-level hardware flaw in the infrastructure of their cloud providers to make themselves vulnerable. They can do that all on their own. Perhaps it was the rush to the cloud that is part of the reason why there have been so many cloud-related breaches, such as when a poorly configured AWS S3 bucket exposed thousands of military and intelligence personnel records to unauthorized public access. According to the story, thousands of military contractor files allegedly left online, unsecure, published in The Hill, those files included personal contact information.

“Chris Vickery who works at UPGUARD as researcher said he discovered some set of unsecured resumes on a public-facing AWS cloud server in July that was left unprotected by any form of login. Typically, this happens as a result of misconfigured security settings.

It’s certainly not the only example last year. Verizon exposed millions of customer records due to another unprotected S3 bucket. Dow Jones experienced a similar gaffe. In fact, throughout 2016 and 2017 we witnessed many poorly configured cloud-based databases being breached.

Fix it with a minimal effort

As if organizations weren’t having a challenging enough time keeping their environments secure, along came to the vulnerabilities Meltdown and Spectre just recently made public by Google. These hardware flaws affect almost every current processor and, through exploitations against “speculative” code execution, attackers can capture passwords and private encryption keys. Filip Truta provides an overview in his post, Meltdown and Spectre: decades-old CPU design flaws put businesses at risk. And fixing some of these precarious hardware glitches can have a significant impact on the cloud systems performance

“Not only did we see significant slowdowns for many applications, but we also noticed inconsistent performance, since the speed of one application could be impacted by the behavior of other applications running on the same core. Rolling out these mitigations would have negatively impacted many customers,” wrote the Google Cloud team in this blog post.

Most organizations do not have just one, or two, or three cloud service providers to worry about. According to RightScale’s 2017 State of the Cloud Report, 85%t of survey respondents are using multi-cloud, with most running production applications in four clouds.

“Companies now run 79% of workloads on the cloud, with 41%of workloads in the public cloud and 38% in private cloud. It is essential to note that the workloads running in the private cloud may consist of workloads running in present virtualized environments or bare-metal environments that have been “cloudified,” the report states.

Turns out the move to the cloud weren’t the security nirvana many (incorrectly) expected. And effective cloud management requires all of the things that traditional and on-premises systems require – good asset management, classification of data and resources, having the right security controls in place and monitored; as well as good incident response and business continuity plans.

So as enterprises clouds scale, we have seen threats and other risks to cloud apps and data. This is why cloud security strategy has to scale as cloud adoption grows more complex. One good place to begin, or make sure your company’s cloud security strategy is on point is, the Cloud Security Alliance’s most recent Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing 4.0 is a great place to start.

The guidance 4.0, as detailed by the Cloud Security Alliance, functions as a practical roadmap for those on the lookout for safety and to securely adopt the cloud model.

According to the Cloud Security Alliance, about 80% of the guidance was revised to better embody the current and future state of cloud computing security and reflects real-world safety measures for cloud practices.

While we are still a long way away from cloud security Nirvana, there are many enterprises and other organizations can do to bring more serenity to their current environments.

Study the Infographic below from Synopsis titled 10 Critical Cloud Security Threats for 2018 and Beyond.

Study the Infograph below from Synopsis titled 10 Critical Cloud Security Threats for 2018 and Beyond.

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Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Web Hosting

Does a Business Require Cloud Services? The Answer May Change Your Perception!

A number of startup is coming up with innovative ideas these days. There’re different types of business which are thriving these days and to run a successful business it is important to put the various services for business management to use and reap the maximum benefits out of them. Every business has a certain amount of data and information and they have to be stored and archived and maintained well. This is why it is important to get professional help regarding the same.

Here we are going to provide you a brief insight about the various cloud services and how they are beneficial for your business.

Cloud Services - How Cloud technology works
New to Cloud Services?The above diagram explains how cloud technology computation and saving really works. It elaborates more on the initiatives behind cloud technology services. We believe your understanding of this concept would enable you to make the informed decision on using or not subscribing to the idea of cloud services.

Additional space

The cloud storage is an additional space which is huge and accessible through the internet. The additional space is important to store all the share information of the company which has to be accessed by all the members and the staffs of the company the cloud storage is easily accessible to the employees of the company and they can easily share and exchange the information that are being stored in the cloud. This way the information can be used and many decisions can be taken quickly when the related information can be accessed easily.

Keep backup

The backup of the information can be kept in the cloud and this would help the users easily access the back up whenever they need to. The backup is important for ensuring that the company does not suffer any kind of loss due to lost information and for this reason a professional should be hired who can maintain and archive the information in the cloud. There are several cloud services and these agencies are noted for the quick help and prompt services regarding the same.

Why opt for the professionals?

The professionals are known for their quick and effective solution to the cloud and backup necessities of the companies. Any company of any magnitude may need these services and these companies are always ready to serve the needs of the people. The first and foremost thing to be taken note of is the requirements that your business and company have and whether the professional services that you are seeking are at all at par with your necessity.

Contact the agencies

You can simply visit their website and get in touch with the agency for their advice regarding the same. The experts who are working at the technical consultant agencies have a clear idea about the services that you may need and they can help you out regarding the same. The companies can simply consult the representatives of the agencies and get a customized service plan from them.

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Business Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources

Big Data and the Cloud in 2016: Changing Formations

Big Data and The Cloud Features:

Big Data and the Cloud

Big Data and The Cloud:- The Internet of Things

Experts estimate that 50 billion objects will be integrated into the internet by 2020. Smart phones, tablets have been integrated for some time, and now wearables such as watches, eyeglasses and even some clothing items are being integrated as well. This integration has made life a lot simpler in many ways, as well as less expensive. It has also allowed people to utilize their resources, including time, more effectively.

For example, it is now possible to purchase a monthly pass for public transportation online, have a code delivered to your smart phone, and board a bus or train with the mere flash of a screen. Time that would have been spent traveling to the nearest vendor to purchase the pass can now be spent on a good book to read during your commute. That book can also be purchased from, and delivered wirelessly to, your smartphone within a matter of seconds.

Big Data and The Cloud:- Individualization

While some are concerned with the potential for violations of personal privacy, the data collected through internet interactions has resulted in some very real consumer benefits. For those who still enjoy driving, many insurance companies now offer reduced rates based on the number of actual miles people drive and their individual driving records. Healthcare providers are able to develop individualized treatment plans for their patients much more quickly and efficiently, since consultations with specialists can take place online within hours or days, rather than weeks or months.

Consumers benefit when companies are better able to customize their services to accommodate the personal preferences of their customers. Companies benefit by having more specific information with which they can make business decisions. The ability to maintain an inventory that accurately reflects the buying habits of their customer base can determine whether a company is able to stay in business. More companies succeeding means greater competition and lower prices.

Big Data and The Cloud:- Technological Advancements

Big Data and the Cloud ComputingOne of the things that make these beneficial changes possible is the development of HTAP, an acronym for hybrid transactional/analytical processing. HTAP is a relatively new type of data platform that can process and analyze transactions online without duplicating data. The less duplication of data, the easier it becomes to maintain a high level of internet security and reduce the risk of a potentially costly breach. Customer databases and the personal information they contain have never been as valuable as they are today, making data management and recovery more important than ever.

The cost of flash memory is predicted to decrease due to higher consumer demand since more businesses are utilizing it as a way to protect trade secrets while encouraging greater innovation. Cloud servers are also repurposing hardware for use as containers, the use of which has increased three times more than that of virtual machines. However, virtual machines will continue to play an important role due to their ability to run multiple applications, while most containers run only one.

Microsoft’s Windows Server 2016 will feature a combination of virtual machines and containers. The new Nano Server, designed to be automated with PowerShell, will have the ability to run a greater number of virtual machines using the same hardware. It will also feature nested virtualization, which is the ability to run one virtual machine from within another. The system supports both containers that share files and memory and separate Hyper-V containers that have their own memory and provide a greater degree of security.

Big Data and The Cloud:- The Role of IT Professionals

The continuing increase in the use of containers is sparking the development of new applications that can be divided into units able to run separately. As the fluctuating cost of many cloud services begins to stabilize, more companies will take advantage of their vast potential. Although a greater number of companies will be utilizing more cloud services, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (Paas) and software as a service (SaaS), IT departments are still expected to play an important role in integrating those services and maintaining company security.

Human beings will always be the most important component of the internet of things, and efficient data management gives us all more time to enjoy the human experience.

Credit: Busitelce | StackExchange

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Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources

Cloud Storage – Expanding more on cloud technology

Cloud technology is one of the more misunderstood subjects in web development and the computer world in general. The reason it is so confusing is because mobile devices need a way to define their own capabilities without referring to themselves as computers. Even though they are computers, accurate terminology ends up being more confusing than a metaphor. All in all, cloud means server. In just about every sentence where “cloud” is used, the word “server” can be substituted and the sentence will become more accurate.

Understanding cloud technology…

How Cloud technology works

Why Use the Cloud? 

Storing information on a remote machine and then retrieving it later is one of the most useful capabilities of computer software because a network of computers is exponentially more powerful than a single computer. Software that takes advantage of the capabilities provided by this dramatically increased power can do many things that would otherwise be impractical or impossible. Something as simple as storing information on a remote server (or “in the cloud”) gives a computer user options they wouldn’t otherwise have.

Examples of Cloud Functionality 

For software developers, the ability to use remotely hosted source control for their programming projects is a powerful alternative to simply storing all the information on their workstation. Source control programs can organize software into working collections, each labeled with a certain feature set. This allows other developers to know which version of the application they are working on without having to examine or test their copy of the source code.

In addition to source control, a remote server gives a computer user a way to remotely back up their data. If their workstation fails, and their data has been consistently stored elsewhere, then their work is preserved. This is one of the most popular and successful features of cloud storage.

Also Read: Some Shady, Yet Amazing Ways to Protect Your Mobile Devices from “the Devil!”

Limitations of the Cloud 

Commercial uses of cloud technology do come with some caveats. One needs to remember any time data is stored on someone else’s server, the terms of use of that remote machine will determine your access to your own data. Cloud storage should never be used as a completely independent solution for this reason. There are myriad ways a server might become inaccessible. Having alternatives is very important as it would be the height of irony to lose data as a result of attempting to employ cloud technology to preserve it.

Also Read: Big Data Management: How You Can Manage Big Data in the Cloud

Cloud Development 

As client-server technology advances, more applications of cloud services will become available to both computers and mobile devices. The fastest growing segment of this technology can be found in the gaming industry, where highly sophisticated game clients make use of cloud technology to present their games and manage player economies and accounts.

The cloud should be presented as what it really is in order to make the basics of technology easier for users to understand. During that process, the cloud metaphor will help both users and developers visualize the progress of networking and software development.

For more articles about cloud technology, click here.

Image Credit: ebizpeople

If you’re considering a cloud storage service, check out https://www.reviews.com/cloud-storage/.  They spent weeks looking at 45 different options, comparing them and making recommendations to help you choose the right cloud storage for you.

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Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Featured Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Web Development & Design Ideas

How to Secure Your Private Cloud

Cloud computing has revolutionized how data is shared and stored today. There are two main types of cloud computing: public clouds and private clouds. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Individual cloud users often opt for readily available, free or low-cost public cloud technology.

Corporate cloud users prefer private cloud technology because they gain more control over access points and complete control over data security. Where companies struggle however, is with completely securing data in their private cloud infrastructure.Private Cloud Technology

The Basics of Private Cloud Computing

A private cloud is a virtualized server system that runs from private hardware and software. Users with access can connect to the private cloud anytime following corporate access protocols. Private cloud technology offers the same storage capacity as public cloud technology; however, a private cloud is typically managed in-house or by a third-party dedicated vendor. Private cloud computing can be more labor intensive, but it’s also more secure.

The Benefits of a Private Cloud

In a recent research study conducted by Trend Micro, 1,200 employees from six countries shared their experiences with private cloud security. Fifty percent of respondents resisted private cloud technology or seldom used current cloud technology due to data security concerns. Forty percent questioned the data security protocols of their current private-cloud third-party administrators.

However, in a 2011 Aberdeen Group survey, respondents who chose private over public clouds reported administrative cost savings of 12 percent annually as well as 38 percent compliance and security monitoring cost savings annually. A private cloud offers significant benefits through lower costs and improved productivity when security is properly administered. In particular, companies operating in highly regulated industries can benefit from private cloud use.

BOOK ON PRIVATE CLOUD SECURITY

[simpleazon-image align=”right” asin=”1449647391″ locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”https://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41qjt6ht20L.jpg” width=”389″]

Securing Your Private Cloud

Securing your private cloud is a two-step process. First, identify how security needs to change when moving from a hardware-based system to a cloud-based infrastructure. In a 2011 white paper by Krishnan Subramanian, the following top private-cloud security concerns were identified:

  • Fluctuation of security needs for an on-demand server system with an ever-changing use perimeter.
  • Stability of security and usage monitoring across multiple domains, departments and users.
  • Inability to effectively monitor device access in the virtual environment.
  • Increased risk of data leakage.
  • Reduced effectiveness of existing traditional IT security solutions inside a dynamic virtual system.

Once private cloud security risks are understood, it’s then time to implement the best security practices for a virtualized data sharing and storage system. The Subramanian white paper identified a number of preferred practices:

  • Private cloud security must enforce compliance with regulatory agencies including logging, controls testing, audits, activity reporting and incident response.
  • Data encryption must be in place whether the data are in active use or in storage.
  • When patching is necessary, data security should be flexible to incorporate these changes.
  • Cloud security should be multi-faceted and multi-level, including installation of a dynamic firewall, frequent access-log inspection and traffic monitoring and use of IPS/IDS.
  • A transition must be made from Mac-based device security to VM (virtual machine)-based security.

Choosing a Security Solution

You have two choices when choosing a security solution for your private cloud. You can work to customize the security system you already have in place, or you can select a system designed for use with cloud computing technology. The second option offers enhanced security because it is designed to work with a VM environment. Any cloud-specific security software should include these six critical elements (this infographic has more information).

  • Intrusion detection and prevention.
  • Centralized firewall management tool.
  • Automatic logging and flagging of suspicious activity.
  • Detection and reporting of suspicious changes to data or systems registers.
  • Protection against Web-based threats and intrusions.
  • Adaptive anti-malware security.

In addition to these six elements, any effective private-cloud security solution must include ongoing employee education. It is critical to also designate a rapid response team that is on call to handle urgent threats. If you follow this two-step process for identifying threats and implementing solutions, you will be able to enjoy the flexibility, improved productivity and savings a private cloud offers.

Download the 2011 white papers mentioned above to better understand cloud technology, including private, cloud and hybrid cloud systems.

White Papers on Cloud Hosting

Private Clouds Analyst delivered by Krishnan Subramanian

Hybrid Clouds Analyst delivered by Krishna Subramanian

Public Clouds Analyst delivered by Krishnan Subramanian

About the Author:

Kayla LaBois spent several years working as an IT security consultant. Her latest project studied the use of Trend Micro antivirus software to secure personal and private clouds.

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Business Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

How to Move to the Cloud without Breaking Your Heart

If you’re running an organization right now, then you’re probably privy to the new buzzword that’s caught the interest of the business world at large:  “cloud”.  The year 2012 opened with a flood of information on cloud technology, its benefits, and the improvements developers are planning to implement within the year.  That is why, even if you didn’t pay much attention to it in previous years, it’s inspired your curiosity now.

In fact, the cloud looks more appealing the more you hear about it and research about it.  With enterprise-level content management systems among its ranks, who wouldn’t be intrigued?  After all, if you can get high-quality solutions for a price that’s relatively lower than more conventional options, you can do your business a lot of good, right?

Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.

How to Move to the Cloud

How to Move to the Cloud without Breaking Your Heart