How Cloud Computing Affects Security

By Miranda O.

With big data becoming much larger, cloud computing has become the more favorable form to handle it. The fact that cloud computing is becoming far more mainstream these days also means that security risks are also increasing. Traditional forms of security such as firewalls will soon be obsolete with anti-malware and encryption taking over. Even load balancers will no longer be needed now that these features are already implemented in cloud infrastructure. The growth of cloud computing will see the fall of traditional security measures but the rise of new ones as it becomes much bigger.

Firewalls will soon be struggling to stay afloat due to access control is becoming more widely available. Since access control is a main feature in firewalls, they will soon no longer be needed now that that feature is usually included in the cloud’s system. One example of access control commoditization is with Amazon who uses something called Security Groups which is a virtual firewall. With access control being prepackaged with cloud services, it seems firewall distributors will not be “able to subvert or coexist with what’s already there” (Gillis, 2016).

Anti-malware will flourish with this expanse in cloud computing because they are essentially made for the cloud. The only issue is that not all cloud databases allow access to anti-malware. This will be a major hurdle that will be overcome in the near future. Companies, such as Amazon, will never stop increasing security of their cloud services but dealing with the actual malware is not their priority. In fact, many organizations do not have the “expertise or budgets to combat a growing number of sophisticated cyber-attacks in house“ (Bourne, 2016) so the cloud is ideal due to its dedicated support team. Instead, cloud providers will “allow for more seamless integration” (Gillis, 2016) for anti-malware vendors.

Encryption used to be reserved for very sensitive data or only used when absolutely needed. But now with data being moved to the cloud, encryption is a must at all times. It is becoming widely available for everyone to use in this day and age with hackers gaining access to sensitive data. One solution is to encrypt data and then store it in the cloud as “it provides a level of security for sensitive data” (Srinivasan, 2013). More companies are moving their data to the cloud due to the cost advantages but encryption can potentially outweigh those benefits due to its own cost.

Much like firewalls, load balancers will soon see a decline as well. Due to social media applications there is a significant increase in data and the cloud needs to be able to handle the traffic. But once again the feature to scale to traffic is already within the infrastructure itself. Google has also contributed with its MapReduce. This architecture gives the ability to quickly process significant amounts of data quickly. Hadoop Distributed File System by Apache, which allows for the implementation of MapReduce, is used by many due to its reliability to handle large amounts of data.

In conclusion, security in the cloud is increasing and becoming much easier. Traditional forms of security are going to soon start to see a decline as more organizations start moving their data to the cloud. For businesses that “have big data on their minds” (Bresnick, 2016), cloud computing is ideal. It was discovered that the problem of security is not due to the cloud itself but actually the “absence of skilled cybersecurity professionals” (Poremba, 2016).

Works Cited
Bourne, J. (2016, January 6). How security will accelerate, not inhibit, cloud adoption in 2016. Retrieved from CloudTech:
Bresnick, J. (2016, February 1). Cloud Big Data Analytics Adoption Accelerating in Healthcare. Retrieved from Health IT Analytics:
Gillis, T. (2016, February 1). Why Cloud Computing Will Shake up Security. Retrieved from TechCrunch:
Poremba, S. M. (2016, January 21). IT Professionals Becoming More Comfortable with Security in the Cloud. Retrieved from IT Business Edge:
Srinivasan, S. (2013). Is Security Realistic In Cloud Computing? Journal of International Technology and Information Management, 22(4), 47-66.