Ajith Vijayan

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Cloud Computing Security Issues and Challenges

Online networking and services are open to face some issues when it comes to security and privacy. And thus, we have highlighted cloud computing security issues and challenges in this guide to pre-warn you about mishaps. Cloud computing is cost-effective and feasible but also accessible from remote servers from any corner of the world. Therefore, the transfer of information might lead to third-party involvements and cause security issues.

The primary cloud computing security issues and challenges are:

1. Improper configuration  

A leading contributor to data leaks is misconfiguration. If your business does not have proper configuration, then your data may be susceptible to hacking.

Cloud computing is a service that promotes better and easy data sharing; thus, it might get difficult for an organization to keep an eye on its access. If you lack visibility or control over the infrastructure of the cloud hosting environment, you are more prone to risks.

To prevent misconfigurations, consult your service providers to give you effective security control options to safeguard your private data.

2. Cyber Scam 

Cybercrimes are increasing, and hackers continually seek to practice their abilities on users. And one such common target for them is cloud environments. Studies prove that cloud environments are the third most attacked services by cybercriminals for hacking.

Organizations need to recognize this and take measures to control and shield their data from such hackers. You can minimize this by keeping an eye on and analyzing the firm’s current defense posture and depict weaknesses across a wide range of security technologies. After this, the organizations can undergo security remediation tactics and improve their security network.

3. Nasty Insiders

The reasons for a cyberattack are not always external. It can be a due cause of people working for your organization. Almost 30 percent of the data leaks happen because of internal employees.  

Cloud being an issue of your internal infrastructure enhances the risk of security and promotes more chances of hacking. The nature of the cloud permits individuals within your organization to access information from the public internet. It makes it tougher to detect such activities. And by the time you uncover a data breach, your information is already with a hacker.

Each organization must have security panels that detect such malicious practices by insiders.

4. Low Visibility

Only a few organizations have impressive visibility control. And by this, we mean to track what your employee is doing with your private data.

So, with Cloud computing, low visibility factors can put your data and private records at higher risk. A good service provider may help your organization overcome these issues and effectively keep control over the security panels to cater to your business needs.  

Organizations must frequently track their cloud environments to enhance safety. You can get real-time user activity with the help of your CSPs and quickly detect any threat or false practice around you.

5. Inefficient Employees

Cloud migration is a difficult task to achieve, and once a firm gets it, they feel they are no longer responsible for the other parts of cloud computing. However, cloud migration is just the beginning of the cloud adoption execution. To get desirable results, ongoing supervision and adequate management of cloud infrastructure are vital.

To plan, migrate, organize a business needs people with the right skill sets to work on their cloud environment. The organization must devote its time, resources, and money to form a secure cloud environment. And one of the primary reasons for Cloud Computing security issues and challenges is a lack of understanding.

6. Data Security 

A chief concern for business individuals is keeping their data safe in this vast world of the internet. Especially with the increasing awareness of cybersecurity, it has become of utmost essential to preserve data in the correct place. The data protection services available today are the EU’s GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and more. They help in keeping your data in a secure environment.

If a firm fails to abide by these compliances, it can suffer penalties, including fines or data leaks. CSPs that are manageable can share this compliance burden with your organization.

7. Leaking Information 

The chief profit of using cloud computing is the seamless share of data and information among internal and external individuals. However, data sharing often happens with the help of invitation emails or links that you provide to others. And this can cause security issues that hinder the safety of your data.

With the help of simple tools or simply changing the settings to public, anyone can access your data from anywhere. Plus, hackers actively seek material that does not have secure cloud deployments like these.

If such sharing contains sensitive information about your organization, then your data is in the wrong hands. You are potentially susceptible to a severe data breach, which will affect the entire organization.

Today organizations must keep their data in trustable and secure CSPs to assist them and guard the data well. A poor CSP can lead to tremendous losses and affect your overall performance. So, invest wisely and overcome these cloud computing security issues and challenges.

Challenges of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a popularly used computing resource to store data for various purposes. However, with the pros come the challenges of cloud computing like Service Quality, Interoperability, Transferability, Performance, Multiple Cloud Management, Compliance, Lack of Supply, Security, and more. Despite facing these challenges, the skills and extent of the clouds are massive.

Confidentiality and Security

By security and confidentiality, we mean the data preserved by Cloud Service Providers data centers, also known as CSP. A Cloud Service Provider must ensure no personal data gets leaked to other individuals. All the data must be secure in the data centers, and CSPs must maintain complete privacy.

Users often wonder where their data is and in which locality. Plus, several cyberattacks, hacked API, and interface, and more is uplifting this concern for users for years. So, one of the primary challenges of cloud computing is to keep end-user data secure and safe. Each user must verify and check about this before saving their data on the cloud. 

Managing Expenditure

If you do not know how to manage cloud storage, then using the service will cost you a lot. Nowadays, organizations focus on the profits from the cloud and start investing heavily in it rather than their infrastructure. Each person should analyze their finances well and use finance wisely to make the most out of this service.

Lack of Knowledge 

The increase in cloud technologies is inviting multiple sophisticated tools that companies face difficulty in using without experts. Several organizations are inviting cloud technologies, yet it is safer to train people to work on these systems. Tools like Puppet and Chef are vastly usable in the IT sectors. 

Control on Data

In cloud computing, cloud service providers save resources in data centers, and the company or a user has to abide by the terms of the CSPs. Your company or firm does not get access to the storage locality of the data. Users must have access to their data and know where it is coming into use. To overcome the challenges of cloud computing, IT companies must keep a track record of their data and their terms well. 

Handling Various Clouds

According to a survey, several companies have multi-cloud policies and a hybrid cloud structure. That is both private and public clouds. Handling a multi-cloud infrastructure in comparison to a single cloud is very difficult. Businesses opt for a multi-cloud scenario because the services are cost-efficient and are successful for years. And handling these vast networks can be challenging.

Compliance

Before storing data on the cloud, end-users need to agree on some terms and policies if the data is from public sources. Seeking CSPs that agree to comply with your information is tough, and you might need to negotiate with them for the same. However, several CSPs are offering flexible compliance policies for data storage and infrastructure.

Performance

Cloud Computing is a highly demanding resource service like multitenancy; so, performance must not suffer for the attainment of new users. Cloud Service Providers should have sufficient resources to perform efficiently.

Forming a Private Cloud

Building a private cloud network is not easy. It includes many tasks like IP address cloud software layer, set-up of a virtual local area network (VLAN), managing load, downloading the correct RHEL, firewall setting for the IP address, arranging a backup queue. Several companies plan to do so to save and have authority over data.

Transferability

If you wish to transfer your data from one CSP to another, your service provider should avoid locking customer data or services to provide easy migration. Different countries have various laws for these service providers that they must maintain.

Quality of Service

When a user pays, they must get high-quality services only. The entire ecosystem of Cloud Computing is available in virtual environments, and so the CSP must meet the services they promise to their users.

Information Sharing

CSP services must be flexible enough for integrating well with other service provider platforms. The data line should easily integrate and promise a smooth performance. Some chief challenges are vast data, lengthier hall transfer, and transferring information. 

Accessibility and Dependability 

Data and services should be available all the time by CSP providers regardless of any condition. Computing resources must be available, and operating them should be reliable for users. The cloud computing challenges fall more on the service provider’s end rather than users. So, cloud computing is a successful service for users and has vast acceptance in our generation. 

Regardless of the pros and cons, cloud computing is one of the best engineering services in our generation. The acceptance of Cloud computing services is increasing. And thereby, CSPs are working on eliminating the challenges of cloud computing for promising better performance. This article defines all the challenges that users and service providers face in cloud computing. 

Introduction to Cloud Computing

This article is a perfect piece of writing for Introduction to Cloud Computing and gives better knowledge about cloud computing and its operation. 

Cloud Computing is a computing service that comprises servers, databases, storage, networking, analytics, software, and more. It helps in providing a substitute for the on-premises data center. In data centers, one has to manage hardware purchase and installation, operating system installation, virtualization. Plus, other essential applications, network set-ups, configuring a firewall, and the set-up of storage for information. After the process of setting up, a company becomes liable for sustaining it throughout its lifetime.

In this Introduction to Cloud Computingyou will learn how it helps in protecting your valuable information and eliminates this long process. Plus, you can access a software and platform service and buy them on lease. The cloud computing services are chargeable according to the storage you occupy. Also, the cloud environment gives an effortlessly accessible online portal to make tasks handy for the user to manage. To move ahead with the Introduction to Cloud Computing, let us first understand what cloud computing is all about.  

What does Cloud Computing mean?

The basic understanding of this term is that it is the delivery of computing resources via a service. It means the resources are preserved and looked after by the cloud service providers and not the end-users. These comprise services from browser-based apps like Amazon Prime or Netflix, plus storage of all your digital photos and videos in the cloud (iCloud). Or servers that help in supporting and securing data of a business, study, or individual project.

When the organizations had no introduction to Cloud Computing, they had to hire users. They would look after preserving their data manually in the computers or handbooks. However, with the growing demand for cloud-based applications, services, storage provisions, and machines, businesses now find ease using this budget-efficient resource. The transition from on-premise software and hardware networks to accepting remote servers has been profitable. Now cloud users do not need to invest in labor, capital, or experts essential for maintaining computing resources but can rely entirely on cloud computing. 

The organization sector’s Introduction to Cloud Computing has given rise to new opportunities in Cloud services and is changing IT practices for several industries. Plus, it is inviting new techniques and bringing a change in the old computer-related practices. With the cloud, people can now work with their colleagues over video conferences. Plus, they have entertainment and can study their regular lectures online. Also, communicating with appliances, booking a taxi, and renting ideal vacation homes/hotels is simple. 

Introduction to Cloud Computing has brought a lot of ease for businesses and each individual accessing its minimal services today. Plus, new doors to opportunities are now accessible with the help of Cloud Computing services.

Profits of cloud computing

  • Cost-efficient services: The service disables the vast investments of hardware and software purchases.
  • Rapid: The work is now accessible faster and easy means.
  • Better Efficiency: The operational input decreases, and you can freely use your resources in productive areas. Plus, low maintenance and efforts help your business expand. 
  • Reliable Services: You can instantly back up your data without spending heaps with the help of Cloud Computing. 
  • More Assurance: The cloud services provide offer technologies and policies that aid in better protection of data. 

Following the introduction to cloud computingwe have covered some vital topics related to this term. The below subjects will help you gain a better perspective about the Cloud service.

 

What are Snowflake and its Architecture

Now a day’s everyone is hearing the term Snowflake. Is it some kind of Snow? Not at all… everyone is wondering what is a snowflake? Before we going to the details of snowflake, let me explain what is a cloud data warehouse?

Now a day’s most companies are looking for cloud solutions rather than setting up their on-premises infrastructure. For example, if you want to set up or store your data, basically you will go for traditional databases. So you first need to set up commodity hardware and then you start installing your application (Oracle, MySQL, Java, etc. ..) and then start loading the data. To set up this type of infrastructure, it will take some time to get approval or set up a Linux box or installing an application, etc.

 So Cloud is something that is readymade, on behalf of you, they will host all these servers and compute instances. Once you buy this or once you get the subscription to this snowflake account you can start loading and unloading the data since day1 itself. So you will not store any data on commodity hardware, simply snowflake will take care of that. So they will store the data on the cloud.

So to Sum up, Snowflake is a cloud data warehouse unlike traditional databases and data warehouses which runs on an on-premises system. Snowflake runs on cloud infrastructure and infrastructure comes from any of the three cloud providers. (AWS-Amazon web service, Microsoft Azure, and Google cloud). Snowflake is in high demand because of its niche features such as time travel, fail-safe, data cloning, data sharing, etc. The important aspect of Snowflake is we pay for what we use. Snowflake charges the customer based on the compute and storage cost. This means Snowflake separates the storage cost from the compute cost. Every company is migrating its business to snowflake because of its niche features.

To understand snowflakes in detail, we should have a clear idea of snowflake architecture. Some of the features of snowflake such as time travel, fail-safe, drop, zero-copy cloning, etc dependent on this architecture. If we understand the architecture better, we will understand how processing is happening in the backend. If we know the process In the backend, we will be cautious while writing the queries. This will help us to save a lot of cost and time while we are using snowflakes. We should know that for every query we execute in snowflake, it will be charged. Understanding snowflake architecture helps you to save a lot of costs.

Snowflake is a Data warehouse that runs entirely on cloud infrastructure and can not be run on a private cloud or a hosted infrastructure. It is primarily available on AWS(Amazon Web Service) and azure(Microsoft Azure) and GCP (Google Cloud Platform). We should understand that snowflake is not a relational database. So it doesn’t have any primary key foreign key constraint. But it offers snowflake SQL such as DDL/DML, SQL functions. Snowflake also allows us to create User-defined functions and stored procedures using java scripts.

Let us discuss the architecture of the snowflake next. So Snowflake architecture consists of three layers. They are the Data Storage Layer, Virtual Warehouse Layer, and Cloud Service Layer.

Data Storage Layer: This is the bottom layer of Snowflake architecture. This layer stores all table data and query results. If we host our snowflake in AWS(Amazon Web Service), the data is stored in AWS S3. If we store our snowflake in Microsoft Azure, the data is stored in Azure Blob storage.

Virtual Warehouse Layer: This is the middle layer of Snowflake architecture. This layer handles query execution within elastic clusters of Virtual machines. This layer also called the muscle of the system.

Cloud Service Layer: This is the top layer of Snowflake architecture. This layer is the collection of all the services. This layer is also known as the brain of the system. This layer consist of Authentication and access control, infrastructure manager, optimizer, Transaction manager, security, and metadata storage.

Best Practices in Cluster provisioning and Management- An Overview

For creating a cluster, we want some idea about how the cluster should be created and cluster management.Here i am noting down some points for cluster creation and management process.

Platform Requirements

  • Cloudera distribution is a good option to create a Hadoop cluster since it got a well structured repository and a well defined documentation set(Advanced user may go for the builds from Apache community).
  • Cloudera Manager is designed to make administration of Hadoop simple and straight forward at any scale. With help of Cloudera manager, you can easily deploy and centrally operate the complete Hadoop stack. The application automates the installation process, reducing deployment time from week to minutes.
  • Centos is the best option as OS since it’s developed on RHEL architecture and supports all RHEL add-ones.
  • Yum install <packages> is a command that is used frequently for installing packages from remote repository. Yum install will pick the repository url from /etc/yum.repos.d, download the packages and install it in the machine. Normally yum will work in machine having internet access. But if we want to install packages in isolated environment, normal yum install will not work, because the remote repository may not be accessible in isolated environment. In that situation, we are creating a local yum repository.
  • It’s better to turn off Graphical user experience in all the host machines, for efficient utilization of memory.
  • For each installation add required environmental variables in /etc/bashrc file or /etc/profile for public access.
  • For updating environment variables from /etc/bashrc file or /etc/profile files use ‘source’ command.

Required Services

  • Ensure sshd service is running in each node to make Secure Shell access active.
  • Ensure IPtables service is stopped.
  • Oracle jdk 1.6+ should be used (instead of open JDK) for JVM Process Status(JPS) which is used for displaying currently running Hadoop daemons.

Generic Points

  • For tarball or source build installations ‘/opt’ location is preferred.
  • Rebooting the Linux machine to change configurations is a bad practice and may negatively affect the overall cluster balance.
  • For network connection issues restart network service other than rebooting the host machine.

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