Cloud computing can be a tricky technology to implement. It is full of moving parts and is more complex than it seemingly appears. The allure of benefits that cloud can bring may often lead to hasty implementations and migrations. Cloud computing has the potential to provide flexibility, efficiency and economic development as well as empower your increasingly mobile workforce. But the shared virtual space is still evolving and it comes with its own set of security challenges.
Securing the cloud is complicated and several factors need to be considered. It can upset the traditional model of IT security that relies on logical and physical system boundaries. These boundaries become less transparent and more complex in the cloud, rendering traditional security mechanisms that rely on perimeter defenses less effective. A cloud system also must meet the security needs of many customers who might be tenants on the same physical infrastructure, so no single policy for security or IT governance will meet every individual’s needs. Differing policies must co-exist or work simultaneously and in harmony on the same platform and be implemented with confidence, irrespective of the location and jurisdiction of the platform.
What does the cloud mean to your industry and to your organization?
This is a seemingly obvious but an innocuous question however, the cloud can have a very individual meaning decoded for every individual and this would not be considered small, medium or large industries and companies. Establishing a baseline of defined terms that address what the cloud is to you and to your company, will significantly help to ensure that the cloud you seek to build or migrate data into will be aligned with your corporate and organizational goals.
The concept of virtual environments and remote access are not new in computing. The first business computers were mainframes accessed through dumb terminals. Over several years, this idea has periodically reemerged with variations on the thin client that would put the heavy computational lifting on the remote server and give administrators greater control over resources. One of the most recent iterations of this concept is the virtual desktop initiative (VDI). The virtual desktop initiative enables the deployment of a full workplace desktop anywhere in the world and on any device, whilst giving administrators the ability to centrally manage the entire infrastructure from one place.
Cloud computing is a broader concept that includes a variety of different services, multiple ways to implement them and multiple ways to use them. It is complex enough that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) devoted an entire publication defining the cloud computing in further detail. The short definition is:
A model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (for example, networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
The cloud probably is somewhere in your future; the more you know about it and plan for it, the more manageable, secure and useful it will be.
This Blog was brought to you by Hypersocket and its CEO, Lee David Painter. With over 20 years of industry experience as a pioneer in IT Security, Lee developed the world’s first OpenSource browser-based SSL VPN (SSL-Explorer). Today Lee runs Hypersocket, a leader in virtual private network technology.