Is Cloud Computing secure? Is the Cloud safe? Are Cloud solutions encrypted? Unless you have been living with your head under a rock on the surface of Mars, you have heard about popular Cloud based applications being hacked. Unless you have been living with your head under a rock, you have heard about private data being leaked because some popular Cloud solution failed to secure itself.
The story is all too common. Facebook gets hacked. Twitter gets hacked. Gmail gets hacked. Dropbox gets hacked. Massively popular Cloud services get hacked all the time. This leads the public to wonder about the validity of Cloud Computing security. This leads the public to second guess if they should invest their personal or corporate data in Cloud services. The second guessing is justified.
This said, the question, “is Cloud Computing secure” isn’t fair. Rather than asking that, the question needs to be applied more specifically to the public Cloud and the private Cloud.
Is Public Cloud Computing Secure?
Yes and no. We would be lying to you if we told you public Cloud services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Facebook and Twitter are fully encrypted and secured. They aren’t. At this point in time, with Cloud adoption under way, it is common knowledge that public Cloud Computing services are not fully secure. The service providers themselves have outwardly stated that you shouldn’t expect any sense of rigorous security protocols when using Gmail or Yahoo Mail.
Why aren’t public Cloud applications secure? The answer is simple: there are too many people using Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin for the providers to secure the platform. Like a spaceship in the process of launching, the more moving parts means more chance of the unknown, i.e. failure. This is why public Cloud platforms will never be fully secure. Too many moving pieces.
While the social media applications and public email platforms can’t be considered secure Cloud solutions, the private Cloud is working to reach those lofty goals.
Is Private Cloud Computing Secure?
Yes and no. The main difference between security issues with public Cloud Computing and private Cloud Computing is where the Cloud in question is deployed. By its very nature, public Cloud platforms like social media applications are deployed in a public infrastructure. This means there are lesser security protocols making it easier for a hacker to breach the network. On the other hand, a private Cloud is deployed internally behind internal firewalls away from the Internet.
If you think about it in terms of Internet vs. Intranet, the public Cloud is the Internet while private Cloud deployments are the Intranet. There is a major difference impacting how secure your solutions are.
This leads us to our final question.
Which Cloud Should I Choose?
It all depends on need. If you are a consumer who has no need for security protocols or if you are a consumer who understands not to put anything critical on a public Cloud infrastructure, then by all means, utilize Gmail and Twitter for all they are worth. On the other hand, if you are compelled to learn how to make Cloud Computing secure and need to keep your corporate files encrypted behind internal hardened firewalls, than the private Cloud is for you.
Are there security issues with Cloud Computing? Yes. Do those security issues hinge on what type of Cloud you utilize and deploy? Yes. So, is Cloud Computing safe and secure? It all depends on your use and comfort with personal/corporate data.