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Cloud Application Security: Realities vs. Myths

Cloud Application Security: Realities vs. Myths

These days experts suggest many of the web developers, designers and IT enthusiast to move their applications to the cloud server. There are some good reasons why cloud computing is growing so much. This can help developers to navigate the challenges related to developing and managing the security of applications in those environments.  Because no one should have to fly blind through these uncertain skies, it’s important to dispel the myths, expose the realities and establish best practices for securing cloud-based applications.

Experts do recommend that the enterprises must begin with their cloud experience with the non-mission-critical applications which can take advantage of the cloud’s “elasticity” to rapidly provision resources. Many companies, from small businesses to multinational organizations, and small businesses from having to invest in expensive servers and applications. The cloud is ideal for such temporary needs as testing and development, for example, or for scientific simulations that need to run for a couple of weeks, then scale down.

In-Bound Threats :- If we talk about any of the services the cloud offers such as: IaaS  which is Infrastructure as a Service, PaaS which is Platform as a Service or SaaS is known for Software as a Service; perceived security vulnerabilities in the cloud are abundant. Some of the common myth regarding the cloud server hosting technique is that the organization which utilizes cloud web hosting applications should be the most concerned about someone breaking into the web hosting provider, or an insider gaining access to applications. But they shouldn’t be concerned. This is an outdated, generic IT/infrastructure point of view. It is more important to examine if the web based  application which are being used on the hosting packages  won’t unable to resist failure because of the way it was created. They are deployed within the cloud web hosting technique which is basically focused on cloud security risks from an environmental or infrastructure perspective.

Consider the choices where many of our architects as well as designers are enforced to make when it comes to cloud applications for cloud environment. Inherent cloud security threats are not only present within the virtualized deployment but also in the way applications created in the cloud are customized by designers. Because they are now in a position where they are relying on external controls put in place by the provider, they may feel comfortable taking short cuts when it comes to building in application security features. It’s essential to consider the inherent threats as well as the unknown threats which are getting in to the virtualized applications’ environments. The Web developers can easily utilize the entire speed to market advantages by being able to use, and test, less code. However, by managing the external security controls to the provider, new attack surfaces quickly emerge related to VM, PaaS APIs and cloud management infrastructure.

Security Check – Can’t Trust No One :- When it comes to the external security sources check which need access to these best cloud hosting applications, how do the clients  know whether the request is legible or not ?  How can we make up for the lack of trust on these applications ?  It boils down to establishing an additional layer of security controls. Organizations must encrypt all sensitive data stored or transmitted and treat all environmental inputs as untrusted in order to protect assets from attackers and the cloud provider itself.

Security trust boundaries completely change with the movement of applications from internal or DMZ, to the cloud. As some of them are against the traditional internal application infrastructures, with in the cloud web hosting the trusted boundaries are being reduced to encompassing only the application itself, with all the users and related storage, database and identity management systems becoming “external” to that application. In this situation, “trust no one” takes on great significance to the IT organization. [As an example: who controls the encryption at rest, encryption in transit, point-to-point and message contents, auditing and logging, or authentication and authorization. Unfortunately, in an IaaS environment, it may not be an option to have the provider who manages all these controls.

Fasten Your Seatbelts :- Some of the best practices to build the protection which would be best incorporated  into the development process to  minimize as many risk factors as possible. How can you help applications become more secure? If we start with the form of application, it has a complete level of security as well as control covered with in the application source code it self. This is being taken care by the cloud service provider itself to implement the best security concern. As an example, the advantages of using PaaS APIs to establish these controls,is that in most cases the service provider has tested and debugged the API to speed time to market for the application.  SaaS environments offer no choice to the developer, as the SaaS provider will be totally in control of how data is secured and identity managed.

A very few but common vulnerabilities which are associated with the cloud are with the service which is being followed. Some of the multi-tenancy and cloud service provider, like identity and access management, must be examined from both a security and compliance perspective. Obviously in cloud multi-tenant environment, hardware devices are being shared among other companies – potentially by competitors and other customers, as well as would-be attackers. Organizations lose control over physical network or computing systems, even local storage for debugging and logging is remote. Additionally, auditors may be concerned about the fact that the cloud provider has access to sensitive data at rest and in transit.

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