POODLE: SSLv3.0 vulnerability (CVE-2014-3566)15 October 2014
How to solve the biggest organizational problems with cloud computing16 October 2014
There is enough evidence to point out that the first cloud was discovered in 1986 in Germany, which was way before even the internet. Despite not really having much success in this quest, this innovative move a laid a foundation for what was to later revolutionize the industry, close to 18 years later. Perhaps the reason why the first move to create a cloud did not really catch up is because back then there was no internet, and we all know that cloud computing is dependent on the internet. The significance of the that moment in 1986 is that it gave others the idea of creating a cloud, and we can certainly say that we are now reaping the benefits of what was sown many years ago. More and more companies are moving to cloud computing, and the fact that this includes even multinationals, definitely shows that cloud computing is here to stay and more should be expected in the near future.
I have to admit that in the beginning, most organizations had serious concerns about moving into a cloud-based server, and this was expected because every new innovation always has some challenges or downsides, and therefore people always have to exercise caution or weigh the between what they are deemed to gain or risk losing, if they adopt the technology. This therefore sort of explains the slow start in the beginning towards most organizations, small businesses and individuals adopting and fully accepting cloud computing. The moment cloud providers started addressing the concerns laid down by potential users, cloud computing started catching up and spreading like a raging fire, and we can now confidently say that big and renowned brands are currently reliant on cloud servers for all their IT needs. Before we discuss what organizations stand to benefit by adopting cloud computing, it is imperative to first discuss some of the concerns that initially hindered most organizations from adopting cloud computing:
Control over data
Perhaps one of the major concerns that organizations had and still have, is with regards to where and how your data is stored. In most cloud computing systems, users have no control over this aspect. The fact that most companies use the platform to share and store confidential files which if by chance are leaked into the public domain or find their way in the hands of competitors would have very serious repercussions. The company would actually lose its competitive edge, and lose serious ground to its competitors or enemies, not forgetting potential lawsuits.
How was this concern addressed?
The concern of control of where and how data was stored was mainly addressed by private cloud. In this type of cloud computing platform, the organization invests in the solid infrastructure that is required in developing and maintaining a cloud. This therefore means that the organization solely controls their own cloud, and no other user has the authorization to access this sort of cloud. Additionally, the organization may subdivided the various levels of authorization, such that junior and middle level employees will have their own server, while top level management are given their own highly secured server which no one else without the relevant authorization can be able to access. This therefore ensures that the organization has complete control over their own data, and they therefore have no fear of relinquishing control of their confidential files to a third party.
Despite all the benefits that come with a private cloud, it is important to note that it may be very expensive, considering both the initial infrastructural and maintenance costs. You will also need to hire extra personnel to form some sort of a data center, who are thus able to monitor the cloud servers from time-to-time.
This was and is still another concern that most organizations had with adopting cloud computing. The fact that they would be storing and sharing strictly confidential files via a 3rd party was something that users were not willing to risk. In any new innovation in the IT world, there are always malicious people who work hard to counter it, thus rendering it obsolete, or probably they want to take advantage of its lapses and benefit illegally. Since we are living in a world where the threat of hackers is imminent, organizations were justified in their concerns of a security breach in the cloud servers, which would be a very huge blow to their operations. We all know that competition between organizations is now at a completely advanced level, and you never know the extent that your competitor can go, just to sabotage your operations. This is why security was a very serious concern for most users.
How was this concern addressed?
The concern about security was addressed by having a variety of clouds, and users could therefore choose the one that they felt would be secure and beneficial to their organization. Apart from having a private cloud which can be said to be more secure, of course depending on the infrastructural investment, we also have a hybrid cloud.
The coming of hybrid cloud enabled most users to divide their cloud usage. Since a hybrid cloud strikes a balance between private and public cloud, users would be able to divide their cloud usage, hence minimize the risk of a security breach. For example, a public cloud may be used for general use by employees, since it offers a wide variety of applications and space at a cheaper cost. On the other hand, the private cloud can be dedicated to more confidential data sharing, transfer and storage.
The cloud computing of yesterday is definitely not the cloud computing we have now; it is now more advanced and flexible which is why every organization is looking into how they can integrate it into their system, or even fully adopt the cloud and enjoy the unlimited benefits. Do not be left behind, or you will have a lot of catching up to do.