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Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

In other words cloud computing is a subscription-based service where you can obtain networked storage space and computer resources. The cloud makes it possible for you to access your information from anywhere at any time. While a traditional computer setup requires you to be in the same location as your data storage device, the cloud takes away that step. The cloud removes the need for you to be in the same physical location as the hardware that stores your data. Your cloud provider can both own and house the hardware and software necessary to run your home or business applications. This is especially helpful for businesses that cannot afford the same amount of hardware and storage space as a bigger company. Small companies can store their information in the cloud, removing the cost of purchasing and storing memory devices.

Types of clouds

There are four different types of clouds that you can subscribe to depending on your needs :

1. Public Cloud - A public cloud can be accessed by any subscriber with an internet connection and access to the cloud space.
2. Private Cloud - A private cloud is established for a specific group or organization and limits access to just that group.
3. Community Cloud - A community cloud is shared among two or more organizations that have similar cloud requirements.
4. Hybrid Cloud - A hybrid cloud is essentially a combination of at least two clouds, where the clouds included are a mixture of public, private, or community.

Essential Characteristics:

  • On-Demand Self Service
  • Broad network access
  • Resource Pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measured Service

Service Models:

  • Software as a Service
  • Platform as a Service
  • Infrastructure as Service

The Major Threats upon Cloud Computing:

  • Threat #1: Abuse and Nefarious Use of Cloud Computing
  • Threat #2: Insecure Interfaces and APIs
  • Threat #3: Malicious Insiders
  • Threat #4: Shared Technology Issues
  • Threat #5: Data Loss or Leakage
  • Threat #6: Account or Service Hijacking
  • Threat #7: Unknown Risk Profile

The past couple of years have been tough for those defending the security of cloud computing and those trying to establish secure cloud infrastructures for themselves.

A huge spike in compromised user accounts by hackers through the past 2 years has left a major fear over the true security of cloud computing. In 2010, only 4 million user accounts were hacked; in 2011 that number skyrocketed to 174 million accounts. (TheData Breach Investigations Report) These numbers are staggering high considering everyone wants their information secured.

Solutions

  • Innovative protection effectiveness with a unique platform-independent logical policy groupings (physical/virtual)
  • Reduced security workloads across both virtual and physical deployments
  • Ability to identify, monitor and manage rogue, vulnerable or non-compliant systems

Products for Cloud Protection:

  • Data loss Prevention
  • Endpoint Protection
  • Critical System Protection
  • Website Security Solutions
  • User Authentication Solutions