In order to ensure that data is secure and that data privacy is maintained, cloud computing providers attend to the following areas:
Data protection - To be considered protected, data from one customer must be properly segregated from that of another; it must be stored securely when “at rest” and it must be able to move securely from one location to another. Cloud providers have systems in place to prevent data leaks or access by third parties. Proper separation of duties should ensure that auditing and/or monitoring cannot be defeated, even by privileged users at the cloud provider.
Identity management - Every enterprise will have its own identity management system to control access to information and computing resources. Cloud providers either integrate the customer’s identity management system into their own infrastructure, using federation or SSO technology, or provide an identity management solution of their own.
Physical and personnel security - Providers ensure that physical machines are adequately secure and that access to these machines as well as all relevant customer data is not only restricted but that access is documented.
Availability - Cloud providers assure customers that they will have regular and predictable access to their data and applications.
Application security - Cloud providers ensure that applications available as a service via the cloud are secure by implementing testing and acceptance procedures for outsourced or packaged application code. It also requires application security measures (application-level firewalls) be in place in the production environment.
Privacy - Finally, providers ensure that all critical data (credit card numbers, for example) are masked and that only authorized users have access to data in its entirety. Moreover, digital identities and credentials must be protected as should any data that the provider collects or produces about customer activity in the cloud.
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