Online Data Security Term Paper

Total Length: 1264 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

Page 1 of 4

Cloud computing presents and represents a large amount of opportunity to expand and improve the manner in which information systems, computing and usage of internet technology is managed. However, as recent hacks and exploits have pointed out, cloud computing is far from a panacea and presents a large amount of new problems due to hackers, thieves and opportunists using the new technology to find new ways to victimize and snoop on people. While there are risks to cloud computing, the goods and potential goods far outweigh the bad but users need to be responsible, vigilant and careful.

As made clear in the introduction, cloud computing allows for some great new things but security is a concern that, while present in regular computing as well, is amplified greatly when talking about cloud computing due to the increase level of access and ability for any random internet user with the right password of tools to gain access. Selecting a cloud computing vendor is something that should be done with great care and consideration because a company that is being cheap about security is going to get caught red-handed and even some of the giants of computing and commerce have fallen prey to this. Examples of this, while not cloud computing companies, include Chase, Home Depot, Target, Michaels and so forth. Most cloud computing giants have avoided such problems and scandals. However, it is only a matter of time and any careless user of even the most rock-solid cloud computing companies can get their account compromised due to a weak password or something else careless (Samson, 2013).

Large companies need cloud computing as they are much more likely to have people dispersed all over the place and they are also much more likely to be handling a huge amount of data that would be extremely damaging were it to be easily accessible or spreadable. Medium- to smaller firms need cloud computing as it gives them a level of access and use that would require some high-end machinery were they wanting to do it with their own equipment.
Just about anyone can slap together a computer server and make it visible to the internet. There are even free programs like TeamViewer that allow for that. However, cloud computing vendors can usually provide these services much cheaper and with a much higher level of service. Finally, we have the personal consumer applications and options for cloud computing with perhaps the most obvious examples being smartphone portals and applications like Android/Gmail and the Apple plethora of software. There are also other file and application repositories for small-budget people like tablets that use cell phone tower technology, Dropbox, cheaper NAS servers, personal server software (e.g. Windows Home Server 2011) and so on. Even regular consumers can truly use some high-end technology for free or no more than a nominal cost. It all depends what the user wants to do and how much they are wanting to spend. The scalability and customizability of even widely-used software is quite extensive in the modern cloud computing marketplace (Samson, 2013).

Security vulnerabilities do not always come from direct hacks although that is always a possibility with data that is accessible from any online terminal or workstation. Vulnerabilities and problems include denial of service (DoS) attacks, distributed denial of service attacks, password guessing (automated or manual), social engineering, lack lf encryption and/or passwords on laptops and tablets, not locking terminals when stepping away, lackadaisical hiring practices and so on. Just as the threats are multi-faceted, the protections are multi-dimensional as well. Solutions to prevent or at least limit damages from hacking and other nefarious acts include lock-out timers, encryption on a machine itself or as it communicates on the internet (e.g. VPN's, etc.), being careful over who is hired and retained, coming down on….....

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