Control In Cloud Computing Environment Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Control in Cloud Computing Environment.

Answer:

Introduction

Webb’s Stores is regional retailer that is based out of Australia. The store has its data centres in Sydney, Melbourne and many regional data centres located in several different locations. There are six hundred members of the staff and two hundred warehouse staff members that are engaged with the store. Due to the problems in the current system and sets of operations, the store has agreed to move its database and operational activities to the cloud. The report covers the aspects of security that Webb’s store must consider and implement.

The store has decided to move MS SQL Server 2012 R2 database to cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model. The following security measures will be required to be adopted in this case.

  • Enhanced network security with the deployment and integration of the database with automated network monitoring and intrusion detection tools.
  • Role based access control system to be implemented to make sure that only the privileges and authorized users are provided the ability to access the database.
  • Two-fold user authentication comprising of one time passwords and biometrics.
  • Implementation of anti-denial and anti-malware tools (Ismail, 2017)
  • Encryption of the information using Advanced Encryption Standard algorithms (AES) and implementation of advanced hashing schemes.
  • There shall be enhanced backup and disaster recovery mechanisms that shall be applied in the database.

The above steps that have been illustrated will result in the prevention, detection and control of the security risks and attacks.

There are numerous security occurrences that may take place in association with IaaS cloud delivery model. As a result, it has been observed that the customer trust and satisfaction drops down in such cases because of the repeated frequency of such incidents. With the use and implementation of the measures suggested above, it will become possible to avoid the security attacks (Simou, 2016).

Issues & Difficulties

There may be implementation and compatibility issues that may be observed. For instance, the network security tools may not be compatible with the IaaS database that will be implemented for the store (Shahid, 2015).

These security tools and measures will also involve a considerable cost associated with it. It may lead to the problems with the estimated budget and expenses in association with Webb’s stores.

The decision to move the critical database on the cloud might bring in a number of cloud database specific security risks and concerns. The attackers may violate the rules of access control and may hijack the accounts on the database. It will provide them with the ability to access the data and information sets from the database and misuse the same (Alashoor, 2014).

Information breaches and leakages are some of the risks that have been observed in association with the cloud databases.

There may be business data and operations that will be carried out on the cloud database which will have little or no infrastructural control by the IT department or the technical people from the store. Many of the network-based security attacks may take place with cloud infrastructure as the threat agent (Singh, 2001).

The information will be shared from one data source to the other on the cloud and other networks. The sharing and communication of information will be transmitted through various networks and access points. Not all of these networks and access points will have a standard security mechanism implemented which will give rise to the security risks and privacy threats.

Risks & Issues – Backup, Storage and Retrieval

There are also risks associated with the back-up, storage and retrieval of the data from the cloud. In case of backing up of the data on the cloud, there will be automated codes and programs that will be required to automatically run the back-up. However, in case of a faulty code or launch of a malware in the code, the process of backing up of the data may not be completed.

The data that will be stored on the cloud will also be open to the security attacks by the attackers. There may also be technical and operational errors and risks that may result in integrity risks. There will be a number of stored copies of the data on the cloud. The users may update one of the copies and may leave the other unchanged. This will lead to the problems of inconsistency and violation of integrity (Fowler, 2010).

The retrieval of the information will require the authenticated user credentials to login to the database and gain access to the same. The users and employees may accidentally or deliberately share their credentials with the unauthorized users. Such users may gain access to the database and may cause damage to the information present within it.

Disaster Recovery Strategy

Disaster recovery strategy that is currently followed in the Webb’s stores will be required to be modified and updated according to the cloud model that is used.

In case of cloud, there will be increased probability of the security and privacy risks. The disaster recovery strategy will therefore be required to analyze all the cloud-related concerns and develop the control measures mapping with each (Tari, Yi, Premarathne, Bertok & Khalil, 2015).

The frequency of the back-up and the number of data repositories will also increase and the process of the back-ups will be modified as per the improved disaster recovery strategy.

Access Control

Access control is one of the basic steps towards security. There are a number of access control models that have been developed such as mandatory, role-based, attribute-based and discretionary access control.

In case of Webb’s Stores, access shall be protected by executing and implementing a combination of mandatory and role based access control.

  • IaaS infrastructure: Role-based access control
  • Ms SQL Server 2012 R2 cloud instance: Role based access control
  • Cloud network infrastructure: Attribute based access control
  • Cloud backup and restore infrastructure: Attribute based access control

Role based access control is the mechanism that provides access on the basis of the user role. Attribute based access control on the other hand provides access on the basis of user’s attributes such as date of birth or social security number or a combination of other attributes (Khan, 2012).

Conclusion

Webb’s Stores has taken a significant and necessary action by deciding to implement the cloud computing models in their architecture. With the implementation of cloud databases, the current issues in terms of difficult data and information management along with replication of the data will be avoided. However, it will give rise to a new set of issues and concerns which will be required to be managed. There will be a number of security issues, privacy attacks, operational and technical risks that will come up. There will also be a number of changes that will be introduced in the store in terms of the operational changes, technical changes, implementation requirements and many more (Nadeem, 2016). It will be necessary to handle all of these issues and changes to gain the best out of cloud computing models and databases implemented in the store. An initial session of training will be required for the internal members of the staff to make them comfortable with the new system. It will lead to a clear understanding of the functionalities and will provide them with the clarity on the correct usage and application (Hashemi & Hesarlo, 2014).

References

Alashoor, T. (2014). Cloud computing: a review of security issues and solutions. International Journal Of Cloud Computing, 3(3), 228.

Fowler, S. (2010). Impact of denial of service solutions on network quality of service. Security And Communication Networks, 4(10), 1089-1103.

Hashemi, S., & Hesarlo, P. (2014). Security, Privacy and Trust Challenges in Cloud Computing and Solutions. International Journal Of Computer Network And Information Security, 6(8), 34-40.

Ismail, N. (2017). The winding road to GDPR compliance - Information Age. Information Age. Retrieved 25 August 2017, from

Khan, A. (2012). Access Control in Cloud Computing Environment. Retrieved 25 August 2017, from

Nadeem, M. (2016). Cloud Computing: Security Issues and Challenges. Journal Of Wireless Communications, 1(1).

Shahid, M. (2015). Cloud Computing Security Models, Architectures, Issues and Challenges: A Survey. The Smart Computing Review, 602-616.

Simou, S. (2016). A survey on cloud forensics challenges and solutions. Security And Communication Networks, 9(18), 6285-6314.

Singh, K. (2001). IT Infrastructure Security-Step by Step. Sans.org. Retrieved 25 August 2017, from

Tari, Z., Yi, X., Premarathne, U., Bertok, P., & Khalil, I. (2015). Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing: Vision, Trends, and Challenges. IEEE Cloud Computing, 2(2), 30-38.

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