The idea of Cloud computing has been around for several decades. Only recently has the technology allowed for it to become a reality for practical use. Everyday more and more companies are bringing their sensitive data onto the cloud. This has proven to be a good strategy for corporations to use because of the flexibility that it provides. The ability to be able to quickly update their web resources while at the same time having automated back up capabilities is just the thing that the doctor ordered. But there is a flaw in this type of web hosting that researchers are just now discovering.
Cloud Computing Management
The first flaw that occurs is more of a management flaw and less of a technical one. If you are business that has their operation hosted on the cloud your hardware will not be hosted in house or in a facility that you control. It will be in the hands of another company that is in a remote location. This leaves you as the customer still responsible for what happens to your data. You must keep a sharp eye out on your cloud provider to make sure that they are keeping your company’s data safe and secure. If you have customers of your own and their data is compromised, blaming your provider will only go so far in their eyes.
There are also several technical flaws that can happen when you host your data on the cloud. Researchers have recently discovered a serious bug that could prove to be a big problem. The problem is that when you have cloud computers on a multi cored server running virtual machines the lack of privacy through the cache on the system is great. When you have a multi cored system the data is transacted back and forth between the cores. This is how the computer processes the data simultaneously so that it can do multiple task at the same time. This is why it is so hard for programmers to adapt to parallel computing.
You have to be able to create software without the program running into what is known as a dead lock. When the computer is running the process the data is stored in temporary memory, also known as a cache. Attackers and researchers have figured out ways that they can use this information to able to poison a virtual machine running on the same physical server. Since all of the cores share data that is coming through the cache, poisoned data can be sent to another virtual machine this way.
You can also spy on another company’s virtual machine in this same manner. If this knowledge is made into a workable tool, the possibility for abuse is endless.
Even though Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular the technology behind it still has some flaws that it needs to address. When it comes to cloud computing privacy was not the first thing on the mind of the people who implemented it. There are tools that are being released to help alleviate this problem but as of right now the possibility of a serious security breach still exist.