Security Implications of Cloud Computing

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SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF CLOUD COMPUTING

Narendran Calluru Rajasekar

November 30th, 2009

Supervised by

Dr Chris Imafidon

(formerly Queen Mary University of London)

MSC Internet Systems Engineering

University of East London,

Docklands.

Acknowledgements

Anne-Marie Imafidon

University of Oxford.

Table of Contents

1 Abstract
2 Cloud Computing
2.1 Definition
2.2 Understanding Cloud Computing
3 Security Implications
3.1 Security Components
3.1.1 Encryption
3.1.2 Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems
3.1.3 Antivirus
3.1. 4Firewall
3.2 Security Threat
3.3 Authentication and Access
3.4 Data Security
3.5 Tempting Target for Cybercrime
3.6 Benefit to Risk Ratio
3.7 Legal Issues
4 Conclusion
5 Appendix - Glossary
6 References

1 Abstract

This paper is focussed on the security implications of cloud computing. Before analysing the security implications, the definition of cloud computing and brief discussion to under cloud computing is presented. The actual analysis of this paper focuses on the basic security components of cloud computing and security threats involved in various aspects of cloud computing.

There are many leading providers in the market like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, HP and IBM. They provide different services and call it with their own names. What exactly is cloud computing? It isn't new; it already exists in different forms such as Virtualisation, Software as a Service, Utility Computing etc. The major aspect in cloud computing is that it is exploited based on the pay per usage charging model.

Though cloud provides many benefits one of which is moving the capital expense to operational expense, the security and legal issues are very high and an organisation can decide to adopt cloud only on based on benefits to risk ratio.

The security implications in cloud computing is discussed in detail in this paper.

Keywords: Cloud Computing, Cloud Security, Cloud Legal Issues, Security Implications

^table of contents^

2 Cloud Computing

2.1 Definition

Cloud computing is an evolving technology and has no concrete definition for it yet. The cloud service providers provide different services based on different capabilities such as SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). After analysing definitions from 20 different authors, Vaquero, L., L. Rodero-Merino, et al. (2008) proposed the following definition for cloud computing.

"Clouds are a large pool of easily usable and accessible virtualized resources (such as hardware, development platforms and/or services). These resources can be dynamically reconfigured to adjust to a variable load (scale), allowing also for an optimum resource utilization. This pool of resources is typically exploited by a pay-per-use model in which guarantees are offered by the Infrastructure Provider by means of customized SLA"

- Vaquero, L., L. Rodero-Merino, et al. (2008)

2.2Understanding Cloud Computing

According to Dikaiakos, M., D. Katsaros, et al. (2009), vision of 21st century is accessing Internet services from light weight portable devices, instead of accessing it from a traditional Desktop PC. Cloud computing is a technology which will facilitate companies or organisation to host their services without worrying about IT infrastructure and other supporting services.

The cloud concept draws on the existing technologies which aren't new such as Centralised Computing, Distributed Computing, Utility Computing, SaaS. It is new in the way it integrates all the above and shifts them from a processing unit to a network (Weiss, A., 2007).

The cloud computing facilitates a starting company by moving Capital Expense to Operational Expense (Computing, D. and M. Creeger, 2009). Amazon (EC2, S3), Microsoft Azure, IBM Blue Cloud, HP Cloud Assure are some of the cloud computing services available in the market Kaufman, L. M....
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