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Security and Integrity in Cloud

cloud_security_and_integrity
Reading time: 6 min

Introduction

Cloud computing is in the boom due to the increase in computation powers of servers and advanced programming languages and methodologies. With the increase in the users of the cloud, the world is moving towards the new technologies where the applications don’t have to rely on the hardware of the user’s machine. Edge computing is an example of the innovation of computing where users can directly run advanced machine learning/ deep learning models on their devices without the need for the internet which results in the fast processing and decision-making process. Edge computing is being used in the self-driving cars to make them aware of their surroundings and help the cars to make fast decisions based on the conditions without waiting for the server to send the instructions. With innovations cloud computing also serves many threats to the servers like data leakage, servers attack, unauthorized data modification, data manipulation, hacking, and other wireless attacks. Without better security measures and data integrity processes, the use of the cloud is very much limited. There are many companies like ScienceSoft, Sophos, and Cipher cloud which aim to provide cloud security. With better maintenance and security, cloud computing can lead society to the next generation.

Cloud computing security issues

Cloud computing is a better solution for most companies to run cloud products and serve many customers at a single time. But it can leave the companies into the hole of security issues if proper safeguarding is not done to the cloud. Some common issues are:

  1. Data Loss

The loss of data can harm a company if the proper backup or proper synchronization is not done with the cloud. Some virus attacks like ransomware can lock the files available on the cloud. This lock can only be broken only with the help of the key provided by the ransomware maker who demands the money in exchange for the key. If proper data backup is done, then the companies don’t have to fall for these kinds of attacks.

  1. DOS (Denial of Services) Attack

Denial of services attack can lead to data corruption, overloading of buffers, and many other kinds of resource usage of the cloud. In DOS attacks maximum ping requests sent to the servers which leads to the crash of the server and makes the data unavailable to the user. DOS attack can be prevented with the help of an authenticator which can block the mac address of the device if it tries to send the request more than the assigned threshold.

  1. SQL Injection

SQL Injection is one of the biggest and harmful attacks that can be done on the servers. Hackers or unauthorized users can directly execute the harmful commands on to the servers and can modify the database according to their needs. Many services use dynamic SQL which makes the services secure to the SQL injection because it can prevent the direct execution of the SQL commands.

  1. Social Engineering

The credentials to the cloud can be stolen by other users. Once login access is provided the malicious users can easily break the system because the cloud services are available from anywhere so there is no need for the physical presence. To prevent social engineering the employees must be knowledgeable about these attacks and the credential should only be shared with the trusted ones.

  1. System vulnerability

Weak authentication can be a problem to the cloud services which can log any malicious users, or the network structure of the cloud services is weak toward the attacks. Proper patching of networks and using the latest and secure protocols can reduce the risk of system vulnerabilities.

Existing Algorithms for Cloud encryption

The data inside the cloud servers is important for the users. It is very much important to secure that data from the intruders. Here are some popular encryption algorithms:

  1. DES Algorithm

Data Encryption Standard was the first encryption algorithm introduced. DES uses 64 -bit key for encryption and decryption of the data. Many weaknesses and flaws made it crackable by many attackers.

  1. AES Algorithm

Advanced Encryption Standard is a new algorithm that came into the place of DES. AES comes with different bits 128, 192, 256. It is also used by the military to encrypt their secure data. AES is fast as well as flexible.

  1. RSA Algorithm

RSA is the most used encryption algorithm. It is the only algorithm that is used for private and public key generation and encryption. It is mostly used to apply cipher on the text.

  1. Blowfish Algorithm

It also uses a 64-bit block size cipher. It is one of the intact algorithms till now, no attack is found to break this algorithm, it is most secure than other encryption algorithms, but it comes with the cost of high-power usage.

  1. Homomorphic Encryption Algorithm

It can convert one data set into another without removing the relation between them. It uses complex mathematics to encrypt and decrypt the data which also makes it a power-hungry algorithm.

Data Integrity Issues

All the user’s data is stored on the cloud it could suffer the loss. The data and computation are done remotely, and it resides on the outer servers, the data integrity should be maintained to make sure the data and the services are intact and working as same as they are intended to. Data integrity means keeping the data in the same form as they were uploaded without any modifications. Here are the scenarios in which data integrity could be compromised:

  1. Data Manipulation

Data is stored on the cloud and it is only accessed by the user remotely. The files can be accessed from anywhere and anytime. If the cloud server is untrustworthy which means it is less secure and unreliable. The data must be lost of deleted or get modified by malicious users. Sometimes it can get modified by administrators accidentally if no proper backup is taken before.

  1. Computation without user’s attention

Cloud computing computations can be executed by the servers itself if it is not configured properly. This can lead to the deletion of the files or the high use of resources of the cloud.

Protection of Data Integrity

  1. Distribution of Data among different servers

Most of the cloud services are affected by the attacks stored their data on the single servers. Single servers open the opportunity for hackers to get correct one time. One small issue in user authentication can lead to the leakage of the server’s data. Multiple servers with different security settings can prevent high data loss.

  1. 2 Factor Authentication

The authentication of the users should be 2 Factor which means users can only log with physical use or some OTP. The unauthorized malicious users can only breach the login credentials but without the physical key, the data could not be affected.

  1. Using Algorithms in the cloud platform

Some promising algorithms like MAC address checking for the users. Another useful algorithm is the use of the Hash Tree algorithm, with the hash tree the data is the bottom or leaves of the tress and the main root is the access point. The data owner needs to store the root. At the time of data access, it must check the value with the root value he has.

Best Practices for Security and Data Integrity

  • Keeping Database up to date, remove unwanted or unknown resources.
  • Using Dynamic SQL instead of Static encoding of the SQL integration.
  • Choosing a trustworthy service provider by comparing the security protocols of different providers.
  • Mask the data or forbidding them to view only access.
  • Maintaining the proper power supply to ensure the forced stoppage of the services doesn’t cause data loss.

Significance of the technology on World

Security and Integrity of data are very important because 96% of business applications are based on cloud and unauthorized access to these data can do lots of harm to the companies. The cost of the average security breach of a company is around 3.8 million dollars. The data is not available on-premises, it makes it hard for the companies to have total control on the data. The data and cloud applications can be accessed by anyone from anywhere at any time it just needs a key and that key can be archived by attacks on the cloud servers. Natural disasters like earthquakes, fires, and floods can lead to the destruction of the data physically. Data integrity is must be maintained by the service providers. The cloud servers need to run 24×7 with proper security to provide a better cloud experience to the consumers. Many companies opt for Security as a Service for their products because these security companies are focus on the best security solutions for the companies.

Written by Sumit Paul

Self-motivated Blogger. Very much fascinated by tech stuffs especially softwares.

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