Highly Toxic Seven Threats and Vulnerability in Cloud Computing

Topics: Cloud computing, Access control, Security Pages: 12 (3339 words) Published: January 31, 2013
Highly Toxic Seven Threats and Vulnerabilities in Cloud Computing

Abstract— Cloud computing has been developed to reduce IT expenses and to provide agile IT services to individual users as well as organizations. It moves computing and data away from desktop and portable PCs into large data centers. This technology gives the opportunity for more innovation in lightweight smart devices and it forms an innovative method of performing business. Cloud computing depends on the internet as a medium for users to access the required services at any time on pay-per-use pattern. However this technology is still in its initial stages of development, as it suffers from threats and vulnerabilities that prevent the users from trusting it. Various be rainy as well, in other words this technology is not trustworthy as it is affected with threats and vulnerabilities. We have termed a cloud with threats and vulnerabilities as a stormy cloud. Based on Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and our research, we have identified top seven threats and vulnerabilities that are the causes behind the creation of a stormy cloud [1]. The identified threats and vulnerabilities are ranked from top to bottom as shown in Fig.1. malicious activities from illegal users have threatened this technology such as data misuse, inflexible access control and limited monitoring. The occurrence of these threats may result into damaging or illegal access of critical and confidential data of users. This research paper describes the characteristics (threats, vulnerabilities) associated with a stormy cloud.

Keywords- Illegal access, Threats, Vulnerabilities

The traditional era of computing involves the use of software, hardware and storage to achieve the required computational service whereas cloud computing has isolated the services from resources (networks, storage, servers). The required services are provided to the users by utilizing the resources of provider. Users are no longer required to purchase hardware, software or to manage storages. Due the evolution of this technology users are required to pay for cloud services on consumption basis. New cloud based business models are being discussed, defined, and implemented as solutions in form of on-demand services that allows businesses to enhance their efficiency and scalability. Success or failure of this technology relies on users’ trust whether the service provided is reliable, available and secure. Session Riding and Hijacking

Virtual Machine

Reliability and Availability of Service


Data Protection and Portability

Vendor Lock-in




Abuse and
Nefarious use of

Insecure Interfaces and APIs

Malicious Insider


Data Loss or

Account or
Service Hijacking

Unknown Risk
Considering the benefits of cloud computing various organizations are moving towards IT solutions that are based on cloud however, before starting the journey to cloud, organizations must considers the possible threats and vulnerabilities that may convert their dreams of enhancing scalability and saving management cost into a nightmare of data loss and misuse. The users must consider that cloud can Figure 1. Characteristics of stormy cloud.

In order to create awareness and protect the cloud users from adopting a stormy cloud, we are describing the impacts of threats and vulnerabilities in cloud computing so that organizations or users can adopt this technology with trust and from a trusted provider who has the powerful and trusted security polices as well as efficient techniques for securing the users’ data on cloud....
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