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Posts Tagged ‘security’

Fears About The Cloud: Education And Security

March 22nd, 2013 Comments off

In today’s fast-moving world of technological advancement, we are entrusting more and more of our precious data to systems that we might not have a thorough understanding of. Cloud computing is one such convenience that, while revolutionizing the way we store digital information, is also raising some eyebrows when it comes to security. The key to assuaging fears about security in the cloud is education. Read on to learn more:

Security concerns. Many people mistakenly believe that their data stored in the cloud is somehow less secure than the data that is stored elsewhere on their computers or in the Internet. That is simply not true. However, what is true is that cloud security requires its own set of specific considerations, some that are not as pertinent to other forms of storage. When it comes to ensuring data security in the cloud, there are some common concerns that need to be addressed: data encryption, verifiable security checks through the provider, and sensitive data privacy are at the top of the list.

Shared responsibility. There are three types of cloud hosting: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). One thing that all three of these hosting service types have in common is that they all require a shared responsibility between them and you when it comes to the security of your data, in varying ratios. For example, SaaS cloud hosting assumes the majority of the security responsibility, while requiring the least from the end user, and IaaS cloud hosting puts the majority of the security responsibility on the user. However you cut it, though, you cannot escape the need to seriously consider your data’s security, no matter where or how it is stored in the cloud.

How you can do your part to protect your cloud-stored data. The first, and most important, thing you can do is take time to thoroughly review the contractual and legal components of your agreement with your cloud hosting provider. This information is made available to you before you enter into a contract with a provider, and it is your responsibility to understand what your responsibilities are. Secondly, you should never just assume that your cloud hosting service is providing protection to your standard. If, in the contract, your provider commits to providing security measures, then you should ask what measures, specifically, are being used, and get proof.

As you can see, it is not enough to entrust cloud storage providers with the security of your data. You must take personal responsibility for that which is important to you, and that means taking proactive measures to ensure your information is safe in cloud storage.

About the Author: Sheryll Wickenhauser uses a disk and a cloud system for backing up her data. She prefers the Backblaze backup service and a separate hard disk she stores off-site for her business.

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When the cloud isn’t right for you

March 6th, 2013 Comments off

When the cloud isn’t right for you

The Cloud is many things to many people. But when businesses talk about using the cloud, usually they are referring to Infrastructure as a Service. That’s where they are purchasing bare server, storage and network services from a Cloud Supplier such as Amazon, Rackspace or Memset. And cloud computing as an Infrastructure as a Service has brought massive benefits to start-up businesses and more established businesses alike.

English: Cloud Computing Image

A few years ago News International, publisher of The Times and The Sun amongst other titles and outlets, looked to meet its customer demand for digital content quickly and effectively in a competitive environment; a market place that is evolving quickly. Amazon Web Services enabled them to achieve this with a reduction in capital expenditure compared to traditional methods of purchasing the infrastructure in-house. Titles were rapidly deployed across all digital platforms allowing the business to focus on creation of digital content rather than the associated infrastructure deployment and management. As demand for their digital content fluctuates on a minute to minute basis the ability to upscale and downscale the number of server instances they have running is a massive commercial advantage.

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Why Should Small Businesses Look at Cloud Computing Solutions?

March 5th, 2013 1 comment

 

Why Should Small Businesses Look at Cloud Computing Solutions?

The business world has seen several new advances in technology and has undergone many trends over the years. Whether it’s BYOD, social media explosion, or the Blackberry craze, there always seems to be something new in the world of business. Some of these trends last over time, and most are eventually phased out or replaced by something new. One innovation that seems to have taken over and is here to stay is Cloud Computing.

cloud_businessThere are a few different reasons why it’s fairly safe to assume that cloud computing will continue to be an integral part of the business world. For one, the advantages (which we’ll take a look at) are too good to be ignored. Unless there is some radical new technology that is released in the next decade, cloud computing won’t be knocked off any time soon. Also, cloud computing is still a relatively new technology. Cloud technology first became being offered as a service for businesses and consumers in 1999 by companies like Salesforce and Google. But it really hasn’t been until the past 5-10 years that companies and individuals really started to grasp what cloud computing is all about. What this means is there is still plenty of room for growth and development in the cloud computing industry.

Small businesses and even aspiring entrepreneurs need to seriously consider cloud computing and start taking advantage of all it has to offer.

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Disperse the Myths Behind Cloud Computing (Infographic)

February 20th, 2013 Comments off


cloud computing security myths

Myth vs. Fact: IT Jobs

Myth: The cloud steals local IT jobs

Along with the perceived cost of cloud computing, the myth of IT job loss is also on the rise. IT professionals already concerned about shrinking budgets and increased demands on their time worry that the lure of outsourcing many of their department’s resources to the cloud will also mean an outsourcing of their jobs.

If someone else manages data storage, security and server backups, say concerned IT stalwarts, what’s the point of having a full complement of IT staff? CEOs and CFOs are often pointed to as prime drivers behind this myth, since their focus will be on cutting costs, and many are thought to be starry-eyed at the idea of not paying for servers or maintenance. Combined with a technology market focused on automating processes, along with the increasing ability of employees and executives to circumvent IT policy, it’s no wonder that worries about job security in the cloud are on the rise.

Fact: IT is evolving

Instead of being phased out, many IT departments are evolving as cloud adoption increases. A recent study found that over 3.1 million people in the United States telecommute rather than working from a local office, and IT pros are increasingly among them. Smartphone and tablet security, along with anywhere, anytime access to the cloud gives IT experts the power to change when and how they work.

As a result, the scope of IT work is changing to include not only high-level cloud management of company data in offsite facilities or private cloud servers, but also “big data” analytics and programming. Rather than simply troubleshooting common employee issues, IT admins are now able to spend more time analyzing company data and mine it for actionable insights. In addition, IT professionals are often asked to develop employee education programs about responsible cloud use, social media safety and network access. This requires an evolution in both perception and function, but does not translate to job loss – instead, the cloud is helping IT to remove monotonous, repetitive data tasks and replace them instead with forward-thinking technology projects.

Dataprise provides IT services and consulting for growing businesses. Visit http://www.dataprise.com/cloud365/cloudmyths to view or share the infographic.

 

 

Using and Managing AWS – Part 6: SSH Key Pairs

May 26th, 2009 Comments off

Generate Your Keys

Now that you have chosen your instance, but before starting you actually start your instance, you need to generate your key pairs. The keypairs are SSH keypairs. A later post will explain SSH in greater detail but the keys come in a pair because there is both public and private components.

SSH is a Secure SHell. This is a command prompt like a DOS box or a telnet connection. However, unlike DOS and Telnet, it is very secure. The private key is the local machine’s secret password. The public key is shared to any host that the local machine will connect to.

The host is able to create a query after seeing the public key that only someone with the private key could answer. The private key is never shared but the host is convinced that it is talking to the person (or machine) that is says it is.

This may sound confusing but it is actually very secure. It’s is much better than passwords that can be hacked or accidentally given away.

Amazon supports SSH and secure communications out of the box. If you choose to revert to simple protocols such as telnet and ftp and to password authentication, you may do so. However, your first connection to any instance started through AWS will have to be via SSH. Amazon makes it easy to be secure but gives you the option of making it less secure.

So at least one pair of keys needs to be generated. Each tool set that you choose will create the files in a different way. If you are running the command line tools, you will run the ec2-add-keypair program. If running ElasticFox or CloudStudio, you will have a button on the GUI. However you create the keypair, the end result is that you will end up with a file that tends in a .pem format.

When running SSH (and the tools) from a Windows client, you will need to convert the .pem file to a PuTTY formatted key file. PuTTY, like SSH will be documented in greater detail in a near future post. Review that post for tips on Converting SSH to PuTTY.

You choose an instance’s keypair when you start it and you cannot change that after it is running. Generate your key pair and getting working first.