Security Threats In Aspect Of The Public Cloud paper

Security Threats In Aspect Of The Public Cloud


The entire world is changing and becoming a village supported by virtual mode of life. Cloud computing is booming geometrically since it has to facilitate such virtuality. Though the concept was previously largely unknown, it is currently in the public domain and IT professionals and the public at large is familiar to the term (Broberg, 2011). At the initial stages of this technology, only selected professionals understood the term but now has a relation to almost all professionals. Smartphone are being used for cloud in an educational institute, shopping or social networking. The focus of the entire paper is dealing with the risk involved in public cloud. This paper has the goal of identifying steps related to this that require taking into account for the purpose of educing and managing the vulnerability.

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There are two main targets of seeking the expansion of cloud computing are portability and cost-effectiveness. One of the advantages is the fact that a client does not need big size software or a specific operating system to access their data (Escalante, 2010). On the other hand, they do not need to spend money for new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. This means that any technological service based on subscription or pay-per-use services that is real-time over the internet and will cause an expansion of the capabilities of IT are Cloud computing (Escalante, 2010). That is software as a service abbreviated SaaS.

Organizations are largely implementing this technology in those areas that cloud model will improve operations in comparison to other services. A private cloud has the merit of providing numerous benefits of cloud computing without necessarily having loss of control and security risks associated with other cloud infrastructure models. A private cloud will include virtualization technology that will enhance scalability, resource management, and hardware utilization. It also incorporates data center automation of provisioning and chargeback metering for consumption and services-based billing capabilities (Broberg, 2011). On the other hand, Identity-based security protocols ensure that only authorized personnel have access to appropriate applications and infrastructure.

Different Cloud System

  1. Deployment Models:

Private cloud: This cloud infrastructure provision is for exclusive use by single organization comprising of multiple consumers (for example, business units). As models may have the ownership, management, and operations by organizations, third party, or a combination and its existence is either on or off premises (Escalante, 2010).

Community Cloud: This kind of infrastructure provision is for a certain specified community of consumers from certain organizations that have shared concerns (examples include mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). As the previous type of cloud, it may also have the ownership, operation, and the management by more than one organization in a third party, communities, or combinations and may exist either on or off premises.


Public Cloud: Provision for this cloud infrastructure is open for use by the public. On this type ownership, operation, and management is by a government organization, academic enterprises, business, or a combination of any of them. Unlike the preceding examples, it may exist only on the cloud provider (Escalante, 2010).

Hybrid Cloud: It is a combination of two or more cloud infrastructure. That is, two or even more combination of private, community, or public that will remain unique entities,  but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (for example cloud bursting for load-balancing between clouds) (Halpert, 2011).


  1. Types of services

On top of clouds, various services are possible of delivery to consumers for instance, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service) (Halpert, 2011). Other than the services of cloud, it is also important to note the barriers facing cloud, its adoptive features and cloud computing which directly affects its service provision (Broberg, 2011).

The structure of cloud is composed of three types of cloud, private cloud, community cloud, and public cloud. The public cloud is the most undesirable of all the three to use especially because the users are unfamiliar with the service giver’s plan in case of disaster. Other factors that disadvantage this type of cloud is the fact that the consumers are as well unaware of the server location, and cannot fully access full control and management policies. The table below shows the types of services possible to access through cloud their characteristics and relevant examples.


Service Description Characteristic Example
Software as a Service (SaaS) The customer accesses the provider’s application running on the provider’s servers. Sales, Google Apps
Platform as a Service (PaaS) The customer runs its applications on the provider’s servers using the provider’s operating systems and tools. Google’s App Engine,, MS Azure
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) The customer uses, administers, and controls its operating system and applications running on providers’ servers. It can also include operating systems and virtualization technology to manage the resources. Amazon AWS, Savvis Symphony, Terre marks Vcloud Express, and Enterprise Cloud



Despite of cloud’s notable success, there are various concerns that are affecting its performance or pose a threat to future performance (Speake, 2011). The major concerns especially is how it will be able to store its data securely and avail it to those who need it efficiently, the mode to use to conduct its audits both internally and externally, protocols of compliance to future security and risks faced, and the storage, automation, and provisioning of network. Another factor that is likely to cause alarm is the assurance of the type of security services that cloud can offer. Cloud’s performance is prone to affection by its ability to organize and coordinate itself among emerging cloud tools and among the already present legacy tools.


IBM’s cloud faces different categories of insecurity but cloud computing faces great threats with rapid provisioning being a leading challenge. Virtualization has also proven to be a dominant challenge to its performance (Jennings, 2009). Such challenges cannot resolve by use of general measure but the solution has to be specific just like the default itself. It is also evident that the solutions have to extent to the lengths of data security and application, physical infrastructure security, and risk compliance. Due to the specifications of the solutions needed, IBM has adapted other methods to meet these specifications per se, cloud security assessment services to develop its security requirements (Jennings, 2009). Other offerings that have been adapted include assessment of professional security services, testing of cloud infrastructures and applications, and assessment of design of compliance to risks and policy management. As a measure to overcome challenges IBM is also protecting its networks within the cloud infrastructure from attack or mishandling which reduces expenses and guarantees cloud security.



Numerous security issues for cloud computing given that it encompasses many technologies including networks, databases, operating systems, virtualization, resource scheduling, transaction management, load balancing, concurrency control and memory management (Tibble, 2011). In accordance to this, various systems security issues can apply cloud computing. An example is the network that interconnects the systems in a cloud will require more security. On the other hand, virtualization paradigm in cloud computing will result to several security concerns (Vines, 2010). An example is that mapping the virtual machines to the physical machines require carrying out in securely (Speake, 2011). Security of data involves the encryption of data and making sure there is enforcement of the appropriate policies of data sharing. Another way of ensuring security is resource allocation and memory management algorithms have to be secure (Halpert, 2011). On another scope, data mining techniques may be applicable to malware detection in clouds.

There has been the extension of technologies and concepts developed for secure grid to secure cloud. This means that there has been a layered framework for assured cloud computing consisting of the secure virtual machine layer, secure cloud storage layer, secure cloud data layer, and the secure virtual network monitor layer (Elleithy, 2010). There is the provision of cross-cutting services provided by the policy layer, cloud-monitoring layer, reliability layer, and risk analysis layer.

Secure Virtual Machine (VM) Monitor involve combining both hardware and software solutions in virtual machines to handle problems (Elleithy, 2010). An example is a key logger examining XEN developed at the University of Cambridge and exploring security to meet the need of these applications (for example, secure distributed storage and data management) (Tibble, 2011). Secure Cloud Storage Management, on the other hand, has led to the need of developing a storage infrastructure, which integrates resources from multiple providers to form a massive virtual storage system.

When a storage node hosts the data from multiple domains, there will the creation of a VM for each domain to isolate the information and corresponding data processing. Since there could be dynamic data creation and allocation to the storage node there is the investigation of secure VM management services. They include VM pool management, VM diversification management, and VM access control management. Hadoop and MapReduce are the technologies in application. In Secure Cloud Data Management, there have been the development of secure query processing algorithms for RDF (Resource Description Framework) and SQL (HIVE) data in clouds with an XACML-based (extensible Access Control Markup Language) policy manager utilizing the Hadoop/MapReduce Framework. In Secure Cloud Network Management, the goal is the implementation of a Secure Virtual Network Monitor (VNM) that will create an end-to-end virtual link with the requested bandwidth, as well as monitor the computing resources (Tibble, 2011).


CIO (Chief Information Officers) — Survey indicates that security is the biggest concern potential users have with respect to public cloud computing. Here, for example, is a survey from April 2010, indicating that 45 percent of respondents felt the risks of cloud computing outweigh its benefits (Speake, 2011). CA and the Ponemon Institute conducted a survey and found similar concerns. Nevertheless, they also found that deployment had occurred despite these worries and there is continuing publishing of similar surveys and results that indicating mistrust about security.


There is an agreement with Grey cloud’s comment, “normally the cloud is seen as a means of reducing cost and improving agility on the customer side”. When public clouds are used, CIOs must be careful to avoid an adverse relationship between the cloud provider and the internal infrastructure or security teams. This is possible if there lacks proper portraying of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to customers from the beginning of the process (Halpert, 2011). That is, the cloud provider looks impressive & inexpensive, but the internal team looks to be expensive and a roadblock by “complicating self-service” or “adding expensive security” or “slowing customers down with controls (Halpert, 2011).


Tibble, I. (2011). Security De-Engineering: Solving the Problems in Information Risk Management. London: CRC press.

Speake, G. (2011). Securing the cloud: Cloud computer security techniques and tactics. New York: Elsevier.

Jennings, R. (2009). Cloud computing. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Broberg, J. (2011). Cloud Computing: Principles and Paradigms. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Halpert, B. (2011). Auditing cloud computing: A Security and Privacy Guide. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Vines, R. D. (2010). Cloud Security: A comprehensive Guide to Secure Cloud Computing. California: Sage.

Escalante, A. (2010). Handbook of Cloud Computing. New York: Springer.

Elleithy, K. (2010). Innovations in Computing Sciences and Software Engineering. California; Cengage Publishers.

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