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Security in Cloud Computing: New Opportunities and Challenges

Write a 2,100- to 2,450-word paper that evaluates the current state of knowledge in the field you selected. The paper must
– Describe the field you selected and the scope and basis of your familiarity with it.
– Identify the different kinds of knowledge practitioners and researchers in the field to draw on to inform business or leadership decisions.
– Identify the philosophical assumptions underlying research and practice in the field, including operative paradigms, normal scientific and management practice, and other characteristics that seem relevant and telling in terms of their effects on the profession.
– Evaluate whether such assumptions are justified, desirable, and consciously held by practitioners and researchers in the field. Your evaluation must consider your view of the profession and how at least one approach–positivist, conventionalist, poststructuralist, postmodernist, hermeneutic, critical, or critical realists–might challenge or augment those assumptions and their practical consequences.

Security in Cloud Computing

Name

Institution

 

  1. Describe the field you selected and the scope and basis of your familiarity with it.

One of the most changing sector in the world is the IT industry due to the overwhelming adoption of new technologies such as cloud computing. While the traditional approach to computing continues to flourish, cloud computing has turned out to be another requirement for highly specialized and qualified IT professionals. According to the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),”cloud computing is  a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (such as networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction”.

Some aspects that characterize cloud computing include resource pooling, on-demand self-service, broad network access, rapid elasticity and pay-per-use measured service. Resource pooling is whereby cloud services are provided to many customers by vendors who share computing resources. In order to segregate and protect each customer and their data from exposure to other users, virtualization and multi-tenancy mechanisms are used. This gives the notion to a customer that he or she is the only one using the shared computer resource. Broad network access is an aspect whereby customers can use the Internet from a broad range of computing devices such as smart phones to access computing resources. On-demand self-service allows users use a website to access computing resources without human interaction between them and the vendor. Pay-per-use measured service is whereby users of computing resources can monitor their usage by paying for only those resources they access. Rapid elasticity involves the amount of computing processes, storage and network bandwidth increasing and decreasing as the user requires.

In as much as cloud computing is rapidly growing, it is face with a lot of insecurities and threats that can challenge its growth. One of the major threats is data breaches which involves access of data by unauthorized persons. In a cloud database server where strong measures such as authentication and use of encryption are not implemented, a malicious person can such as a hacker can easily access data which is private. The data is then modified and can also be lost. However use of some security measures can pose another threat. For instance, you could encrypt your data to reduce the impact of a breach, but if you lose your encryption key, you’ll lose your data. Another threat to cloud computing is loss of data which is very important. Unauthorized persons such as hackers could delete data in case they access it and in such a way that it cannot be recovered. Encryption can be used to solve this problem but if the key is lost too then the data cannot be accessed too. Account or service traffic hijacking is another threat of cloud computing. When an attacker access data, they can manipulate and modify .Once they use it in your transactions, it returns falsified information, and redirects your clients to illegitimate sites. Sharing of credentials between users and services should be prohibited to curb such a threat. Denial of service attacks has been a great threat to cloud computing over the years. This attack causes lack of access to resources by users. It can cost an organization providing cloud computing services loss of its customers. Even if an attacker cannot fully deny the access of a service or resource, he or she can lengthen the processing time which makes it expensive for one to access it.

 Identify the different kinds of knowledge practitioners and researchers in the field to draw on to inform business or leadership decisions.

Jobs and careers in cloud computing are indigenous or iterations of existing old positions. Knowledge practitioners and researchers require highly-skilled and well-educated professionalism. Some of the knowledge practitioners in the field of cloud computing and its security are as discussed below.

A cloud software engineer is one of the knowledge practitioners in this field. His responsibilities involve designing and developing software applications that service providers of the cloud need in order to deliver their services. One of the many requirements that this person must have is a strong background in computer science and a lot of experience so that he or she produces reliable and efficient applications. Having knowledge of technologies involving deployment automation will also come in handy in this type of a career.

Another position in cloud computing is that of cloud sales. A person involved in cloud sales has a responsibility of demonstrating how executives from the top floors are included in the cloud revolution. Their duty is to interact with managers, directors and c-level professionals about the growth of the cloud computing organization. Cloud sales persons also ensure that the cloud business develops and is outsourced. They should have effective communication skills as they are involved in advertising the cloud business through outsourcing.

Cloud architects are also involved in cloud businesses. Their main duty is to secure cloud platforms. For the competitive advantage of the cloud business organization, cloud architects utilize cloud solutions from other providers. They also have a duty of optimizing the use of current existing technology. In order to achieve this, they have to collaborate with the management and people from other departments in the organization.

In addition, cloud system administrators are also a crucial part of the cloud business. They are responsible for managing network devices and security maintenance especially when it comes to the data of users and its privacy. They are also involved in troubleshooting issues such as installing, testing, and upgrading hardware and software and also and overseeing the day-to-day hardware and software operations.

DevOps are responsible for managing cloud infrastructure and ensuring that the needs of the applications are met. They are involved in the management of the efficiency, predictability, maintainability, and security of the processes .They act as the liaison between developers and system administrators and must therefore possess the skills of software engineering, administration, and technology operations.

3. Identify the philosophical assumptions underlying research and practice in the field, including operative paradigms, normal scientific and management practice, and other characteristics that seem relevant and telling in terms of their effects on the profession

Cloud computing is surrounded by philosophical issues due to the radical changes in how people compute since it has taken over the traditional approach to computing. To begin with, cloud computing is geography of computing whereby the data storage and processing are carried out by hardware held in a different location rather than the hardware of the computer one is working on. Examples of cloud computing is in the use of Gmail, Facebook and Flickr.

Some of the benefits that can realized by cloud computing include access to very powerful computing facilities .Cloud computing can also create convenience in the way data and other computer facilities are accessed and also the security guaranteed to users and their data. It will also increase flexibility in a mobile workforce .Another major benefit of cloud computing is that it will act as a cost effective alternative for a business that needs to maintain an IT infrastructure that is up to date .

Some applications will migrate to cloud computing easily but for those in the government, it will be very difficult  since minor changes to a system requires a lot of consultation effort and a lot of time to make those changes.

Development in the cloud computing sector will see the third party cloud services providers providing almost all the needs of computing while allowing users to access the resources and that data they need efficiently. Cloud computing will be a break even prospect for the typical government data system but the cost of failures in a government computing system is very high. The government should therefore realize the cost saving involved in cloud computing and adopt it as fast as possible.

Cloud computing has been adopted in the sense that it will increase cost savings. However this can only be realized if the correct computer clouding model is established before purchases for the software and hardware infrastructure are made when a new application is deployed or a major revision is made to an existing application.

Cloud computing certainly offers significant advantages to certain enterprises for certain types of computing services. It will be very important for small business that do not have computing staff and even dedicated data centers. If cloud computing continues to be viewed as a business that caters for cost savings with little effort, practitioners are going to dismiss it as yet another passing fad that promises much and fails to deliver anything.

4. Evaluate whether such assumptions are justified, desirable, and consciously held by practitioners and researchers in the field. Your evaluation must consider your view of the profession and how the positivist approach might challenge or augment those assumptions and their practical consequences.

The benefits of cloud computing have been experienced in the way that it has helped businesses maintain their availability and functionality. One way that it has enabled this is by guaranteeing that data has been backed up so that in case it is lost from one point, it can be recovered from another point. By use of cloud computing, business services are always accessible and available to a customer. In as much as this can be affected by deliberate attacks such as denial of service attacks, cloud computing allows for measures to curb security issues so that availability of a service is guaranteed.

Cost savings have been realized through cloud computing through establishment of the correct models of cloud computing before purchases for the software and hardware infrastructure. Some of the models that have been adopted to provide services include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) ,Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). (IaaS) involves provision of physical computer hardware such as CPU processing, memory, data storage and network connectivity by a vendor who shares them among many customers. (PaaS) involves the vendor providing Infrastructure as a Service plus operating systems and server applications such as web servers. Through SaaS, vendors provide customers with software applications by using the infrastructure of the cloud and the platform of the cloud.

While adoption of cloud computing is perceived cost saving, there are many costs associated with its adoption. There are the deployment costs and also maintenance costs. When a system is deployed, there are some costs that will never be recovered through switching to the cloud. Deployment of a system involves purchase of new infrastructure of the hardware and software components of the cloud computing IT infrastructure .Due to the security threats and risks involved in its implementation, costs are incurred especially to protect users’ data and prevent other security risks. In case the data of a user is lost or interfered with, then the system offering cloud services is not working as it should.

There are factors that are causing businesses to adopt cloud computing. These factors include: pursuing new business opportunities whereby business persons feel that they want to communicate ideas with customers over the internet. Another driving force is the reduction of upfront costs which include capital expenditure of computer equipment and related expenses such as a physical data center and support staff. Business continuity is catered for by cloud computing due to the guarantee that information will always be available and accessible to customers.

 

References

Shivaji P Mirashe, N V Kalyankar, (2010), Cloud Computing  in Communications of the ACM

Bernd Grobauer, Tobias Walloschek, Elmar Stöcker , (2011),Understanding Cloud Computing Vulnerabilitiesin IEEE Security and Privacy

Tharam Dillon, Chen Wu, Elizabeth Chang , (2010),Cloud Computing: Issues and Challenges  in IEEE International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications

Ling Qian, Zhiguo Luo, Yujian Du, Leitao Guo , (2009),Cloud Computing: An Overview in Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

Mladen A. Vouk, (2008), Cloud Computing – Issues, Research and Implementations in Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Technology Interfaces, ITI

 Lizhe Wang, Jie Tao, Marcel Kunze, Alvaro Canales Castellanos, David Kramer, Wolfgang Karl, (2008) , Scientific Cloud Computing: Early Definition And Experience in Proceedings – 10th IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing and Communications,  HPCC 2008

Sean Marston, Zhi Li, Subhajyoti Bandyopadhyay, Juheng Zhang, Anand Ghalsasi , (2011),Cloud Computing – The Business Perspective  in Decision Support Systems

 Wei-Tek Tsai, Xin Sun, Janaka Balasooriya , (2010) ,Service-Oriented Cloud Computing Architecture in 2010 Seventh International Conference on Information Technology: New Generations

 Bhaskar Prasad Rimal, Eunmi Choi, Ian Lumb , (2009), A Taxonomy And Survey Of Cloud Computing Systems in NCM 2009 – 5th International Joint Conference on INC, IMS, and IDC

 Lars-Johan Age , (2011),Grounded Theory Methodology: Positivism, Hermeneutics, and Pragmatismin Qualitative Report

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