Cloud computing is on the rise, but behind the virtual cloud there isn’t always a silver lining.
In recent months the mainstream media has picked up on some serious issues with the cloud services of some major companies and organisations – and that’s caused some to question the safety of this technology.
Indeed, whether it was the ASUS incident where the company put thousands of users at risk by failing to fix a flaw in their routers or the LA Hospital security breach where malware in an email allowed hackers to lockdown the system and demand a ransom, cloud services have taken a beating recently.
The Benefit of Servers in the Sky
Fortunately however, incidents such as those outlined above are few and far between and despite some of the negative press, cloud services are now changing our virtual lives.
Whether it’s making us more secure through cloud-based firewalls or GaaS (Gaming As A Service through cloud servers), the Internet is becoming a much more intricate place thanks to servers in the sky.
By far the most important use for cloud services in recent years has been the growth of dedicated security services. The idea of web application security is one that many companies are now working with in order to offer better round-the-clock protection to companies and individuals.
For example, Imperva Incapsula now offers a web application firewall which basically protects web applications from all of the most common viruses. By filtering legitimate traffic and blocking malicious traffic to the web application, Imperva Incapsula’s firewall can protect the core computing infrastructure of a company from the likes of remote file include, SQL injections and cross-site request forger attacks.
It’s not just independent security companies that are using cloud servers to offer firewalls that can have up times of 99.99%. Microsoft recently announced that it too is beefing up its security services for Office 365 and Azure.
Microsoft Making Clouds More Secure
Set to go live in April 2016, Microsoft Cloud App Security will allow customers to have greater control over the data they store online in apps such as SalesForce, Ariba and ServiceNow. One of the main innovations in the system will be the way in which customers can configure access licenses to certain users.
For example, the Azure Security Center will benefit from more management and reporting features that will allow customers to personalise their security policies for resource groups instead of an entire subscription base. This change should result not only in fewer breaches, but a greater ability to identify and target weak points in the system.
Although recent headlines might have brought to light some of the vulnerabilities of cloud computing, there’s no doubt that things are moving in the right direction. As major players such as Microsoft continue to bolster their internal systems and independent companies continue to offer protection against the latest online threats, the future of cloud computing looks set to revolutionise almost every aspect of our online lives.