There are bundles of reasons that cloud storage is beneficial for an organization. The main reason is low cost as the company or organization get huge amount of data capacity without investing in hardware for creating own data center. Only a swipe of credit card can manage huge data capacity for the organization without any worries about maintenance or backup of data. This increasing trend of using cloud storage by the companies is alarming as well. The organizations are holding data on virtual servers that can be accessed by millions of users at a time. If proper security system is not developed for the preservation of data, then the organization may face huge downfall. High level security system should be developed for data placed on cloud storage to keep data safe from unauthorized persons who can use your data for other purposes. It is clear that cloud storage is a great benefit to larger organization but is not as secure as the organizations want it to be.
Kusnetzky believes that the main advantage that cloud storage offers is the reduction of cost for the organization (2010). Cloud storage is a way of storing structured or unstructured data for anytime availability from anywhere with secure authentication. In other words it can be said that cloud storage is a model of networked online storage system, where data can be stored. Cloud storage is becoming popular because of its online accessibility and reducing cost for an organization that wants to hold large amount of data. Cloud storage also offers different features like copy, synchronization, sharing and easy access of data from anywhere and any digital device (WU et al. 2012).
There are many security issues in storing data on cloud storage. There is no doubt in the fact that Cloud storage is the most effective cost saving method for any organization who wants to have easy access to its data without setting up its own server to hold data. But with growing trend of using cloud storage the threat to security of data is increasing. The main issues in security of data on cloud storage are Confidentiality of data, Integrity of data and availability of data.
The data can be kept in two ways, either to keep in your local data center or hard drive of your computer or you can avail the facility of cloud storage that can hold your data away from you in other locations (Yang and Chen). As the cloud storage provider are not providing service to only one organization, but they hold data for many companies on the same server. This opens new ways for the hackers invade into the server and get data from there. This is very challenging for cloud storage to keep its server intact from the attacks of the hackers.
In cloud storage the data is not stored on only one server, while the data is placed on different servers and across borders as well (Yang and Chen). The legal system about the protection of data is different across the border and your personal information may be leaked using cloud services. The hackers can also find an easy way to get into the server.
While using cloud storage for storing data there is need for regulation of its usage like it’s reporting and audit trail. Cloud storage services are not providing customers necessary information to comply with the regulations. It is very necessary for the secure data storing on cloud storage.
There are number of companies who provide cloud storage service to the customers. But there is no evidence that how long that service provider will be working for (Verlag, 2012). If the cloud storage service provider goes bank corrupt then all the companies who have registered to them will face high loss.
Cloud storage service providers allow different companies to access their server at the same time. This enables the hackers to jump into database on the server and they can jump into other databases.
The information or data of any organization is very valuable and needs to be kept away from competitors as well as other employees of the organizations as well. Only some higher authoritative persons in organization are allowed to access that information (McClure and Oltsik, 2009). Most of the companies prefer to store their data on cloud storage for saving money. On the other hand the data on cloud storage is not safe from the attacks of hackers who always look to breach into database of companies. There companies who provide cloud storage service also provide encryption service so that data is intact when it is not in use (Schwartzberg, 2012). When the data is encrypted it can be retrieved using encryption key. But the hackers can also get encryption key to access data. There are number of ways to the hackers who can access your data on cloud storage.
The purpose of this research is to look into all the questions that rise while looking to secure cloud storage. Here are questions related to this research.
- Is it safe to use cloud storage for organization?
- What are basic threats to security of data on cloud storage?
- Is there an alternate to cloud storage service that is more secure?
- Does the cloud storage keep data intact from hackers or unauthorized persons?
- Is there any possibility to make data or information completely secure on cloud storage?
- Do the cloud storage companies comply with regulations related to the services being provided to their customers?
- Which is the best cloud storage service that is providing secure data storage?
- What is the importance of history of the company providing cloud storage service?
- What is the effect of not gaining physical access to data center of cloud storage service provider?
To carry out this research we need to select a method that suits bests. The best methodology we will use for this research is archival, in which we will first need to look at literature available related to security concerns in cloud storage. Security is the main issue at the time of billions of internet users and thousands of hackers who always try to breach into information of organizations and companies.
As Wong stated that there are different security models available but we will focus on security model for cloud storage. A lot of information is available on internet in different journals and books but in this case there is need for quality research that will help in finding out a specific method for making cloud storage secure. After proper research and reading literature related to cloud storage we will be able to form a security system that will ensure data fully secured on cloud storage server.
As the cloud storage is being used widely by most of the organizations in the world, then there is need to make it secure as much as possible. As the purpose of the research is to look for loop holes in security of cloud storage and look for a possible solution to keep data safe from hackers and intruders. We will be in a position to make a security model for cloud storage and implement it to cloud storage.
Once the cloud storage will be secure then more and more people will feel easy to use cloud storage for the storage of their data and information. There are many ways to get access the cloud storage; this research will help in finding ways to block the unauthorized access to cloud storage.
This research will also help in finding out the best cloud storage service provider. Once we come to know about the best cloud storage service provider it will help us in finding the techniques being applied by them to make their cloud storage secure and protected.
As Gercke emphases on the usage of cloud storage by saying that we are moving to cloud network every day without knowing (2011). The organization need to cut down their cost in matter of storing their data on server. So they prefer to use cloud storage for storing important information. With this advent of technology a lot of research work is being done in this field. However, the security risks are still there making not a reliable and secure data storage service. This research will require more time for searching out specific material related to cloud storage and threats attached to it. Moreover, then there will be need to find out the best solution that will ensure that cloud storage is secure. Looking at different security models available for cloud storage we can find the best solution for the secure cloud storage.
- Bugher, G. (2010) SECURE USE OF CLOUD STORAGE. BLACKHAT BRIEFINGS USA.
- Verlag, H. (2012) On THE Security of Cloud Storage Services. Germany: Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT.
- McClure, T., Oltsik, J. (2009). Evaluating Cloud Storage Security. Enterprise Strategy Group.
- Wang, Q., Wang, C., Li, J., Ren, K. and Lou, W. (2009). Enabling Public Verifiability and Data Dynamics for Storage Security in Cloud Computing. Chicago: Illinois Institute of Technology.
- Popa, R., Lorch, J., Molnar, D., Wang, H. and Zhuang, L. Enabling Security in Cloud Storage SLAs with CloudProof.
- Yang, J. and Chen, Z. Cloud Computing Research and Security Issues.
- Zhnag, X. (2011). Ensure Data Security in Cloud Storage. Retrieved August 28, 2012 from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5948734&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5948734.
- Wang, C. (2009) Ensuring data storage security in Cloud Computing. Retrieved August 28, 2012 from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5201385&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5201385
- Zhou, M. (2010) Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing: A Survey. Retrieved August 28, 2012 from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5663489&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5663489
- Crump, G. (2009) What is Cloud Storage? Retrieved August 29, 2012 from http://www.storage-switzerland.com/Articles/Entries/2009/11/18_What_is_Cloud_Storage.html
- Bovberg, J. (2012) Cloud Storage: Tame Your Fears. Retrieved August 29, 2012 from http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/cloud-computing2/cloud-storage-future-144097
- Schwartzberg, D. (2012) Cloud storage data risks and encryption. Retrieved August 29, 2012 from http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/03/08/cloud-storage-data-risks-and-encryption/