Security in the Cloud

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By rhondaphillips
Words 2433
Pages 10
Problem Statement Discussion and Justification Cloud users face security threats both from outside and inside the cloud. Many of the security issues involved in protecting clouds from outside threats are similar to those already facing large data centers. In the cloud, however, this responsibility is divided among potentially many parties, including the cloud user, the cloud vendor, and any third-party vendors that users rely on for security-sensitive software or configurations. The cloud user is responsible for application-level security. The cloud provider is responsible for physical security, and likely for enforcing external firewall policies. Security for intermediate layers of the software stack is shared between the user and the operator; the lower the level of abstraction exposed to the user, the more responsibility goes with it. While cloud computing may make external-facing security easier, it does pose the new problem of internal-facing security. Cloud providers must guard against theft or denial-of-service attacks by users. Users need to be protected from one another. The primary security mechanism in today's clouds is virtualization. It is a powerful defense, and protects against most attempts by users to attack one another or the underlying cloud infrastructure. However, not all resources are virtualized and not all virtualization environments are bug-free. Virtualization software has been known to contain bugs that allow virtualized code to "break loose" to some extent. Incorrect network virtualization may allow user code access to sensitive portions of the provider's infrastructure, or to the resources of other users. One last security concern is protecting the cloud user against the provider. The provider will by definition control the "bottom layer" of the software stack, which effectively circumvents most known security techniques. Absent…...

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