Issues and Challenges of Security in Cloud Computing Environment

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The term cloud computing is a relatively recent vintage. In the year of 2008, this term came in popularity. Since then, this term has emerged a lot within short span of time. As it is known fact of IT industry that every emerging technology brings
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  International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA) ISSN No. :0975-0290 108 Issues and Challenges of Security in Cloud Computing Environment Prof. Divyakant Meva Faculty of Computer Applications, Marwadi Education Foundation's Group of Institute, RajkotEmail: divyakantmeva16@yahoo.co.in Dr. C. K. Kumbharana Head, Department of Computer Science, Saurashtra University, RajkotEmail: ckkumbharana@yahoo.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ABSTRACT ------------------------------------------------------------- The term cloud computing is a relatively recent vintage. In the year of 2008, this term came in popularity. Since then, this term has emerged a lot within short span of time. As it is known fact of IT industry that every emergingtechnology brings some issues and challenges, this is also true for Cloud Computing Environment. In this paper, authors have tried to throw some light on above said topic especially on SaaS. Keywords - Cloud Computing, Security, SaaS security, issues andchallenges[1]I NTRODUCTION Though the term Cloud Computing is not new now a day, let us have a definition of Cloud computing:“Cloud computing is a type of computing that provides simple, on-demand access to pools of highly elastic computing resources. These resources are provided as a service over a network (often the Internet), and are now  possible due to a series of innovations across computing technologies, operations, and business models. Cloud enables the consumers of the technology to think of computing as effectively limitless, of minimal cost, and reliable, as well as not be concerned about how it is constructed, how it works, who operates it, or where it is located. [1]“When we consider Cloud Computing, the following characteristics must be considered:1.Scalable2.Elastic3.Self-service4.Ubiquitous access5.Complete virtualization6.Relative consistency7.CommodityThe other common characteristics are:1.Measured service2.Multiple tenants3.Multiple applications4.Scalable (Individual application) 5.ReliableCloud can be divided into three major layers namely:1.Cloud Infrastructure (IaaS)2.Cloud Application Platform (PaaS)3.Cloud Application (SaaS)The first layer contains all physical and virtual resources used to build cloud. The second layer is responsible to organize and operate all of the resources provided by Infrastructure layer.The third layer, on the top of the stack comprises of the applications or softwares which are required by operationsgroups.As far as deployment models are concerned, we can divide Cloud in four types:1.Public2.Private3.Vertical (community clouds)4.Hybrid  [2]I SSUES AND CHALLENGESOF S ECURITY IN THE C LOUD The cloud service provides should understand the need to  protect or secure customer’s applications and data to be there in existing competitive environment. As per the opinions taken of 244 IT executives, security is on the top as far as issues and challenges are concerned in Cloud Computing [2]. Resourcesrequired to be protected in all three environments i.e. SaaS, PaaS, IaaS. With cloud, the person will lose control over physical security of data. With public cloud, enterprise or person is sharing computing resources with other enterprises, where we don’t know about the location or place where our resources are being accessed or shared. Even with encryption, actually there is a question, who will control key management? Whether it is customer or service  provider? The customer should be sure that he is managing the key for encryption.Data integrity is another challenge where we require ensuring that data is identically managed during operations like transformation, retrieval etc. Another key challenge in the cloud computing is data level security. 2.1S AA SS ECURITY SaaS is dominating cloud service requirement now a day and will remain dominant in future also. This is the area where it is required to provide more sight on security  International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA) ISSN No. :0975-0290 109 aspects. The consulting firm Gartner has proposed seven security issues required to be discussed:1.Privileged user access2.Regulatory compliance3.Data location4.Data segregation5.Recovery6.Investigative support7.Long term viabilityHere is the checklist for SaaS [3]:1.Is the security architecture documented in full?2.Are special security aspects, such as application and  platform security, taken into account, on which the security as a service functions are provided?3.Do the cloud services have a security certificate?4.How can the security functions be integrated as a service? Are there open interfaces and a user friendly  portal?5.Which cloud vendors and services are supported?6.Where is security relevant data stored? [3]S ECURITY PRACTICES FOR S AA S ENVIRONMENT The following practices should be followed for baseline security in SaaS environment [4].1.Security Management and governanceOne of the most important actions is to prepare complete agreement for security organization and program. This will introduce a vision in a team about what security leadership is driving towards and expects. The ownership will result into a success of collective team. Clarity must be defined about roles and responsibility in agreement.A steering committee should be planned with the objective to focus on providing guidance about security initiatives and its synchronization with business practices. The agreement for security team is the creation of steering committee. Lack of proper management and governance results in  potential security risks left unaddressed. 2.Risk management and assessmentEffective risk management requires identifying technological assets, data and its links to business process, applications and data stores and assignment of ownership and responsibilities. A proper risk assessmentprocess should be created to allocate security resources linked with  business continuity. Risk assessment is important to help the organizational security decision making balanced between business utility and security of assets. Information security risk management process should measure security risks and  plan and managing them periodically and when needed. 3.Security awareness and trainingHuman being is the weakest link of security. Improper awareness and training to needy people can expose company to number of security risks. Social engineering, slower responses to security incidents are possible risks. A tailored security awareness and training program is needed for individual based on his or her role and responsibility. Programs that provide baseline for fundamentals of securityand risk management skills and knowledge should be  planned especially for security team and other internal  personnel. Without adequate and current training, security team can not deal with problems.4.Policies, standards and guidelinesResources and templates are available to prepare information security policies, standards and guidelines. Security team should first of all identify information security and business requirements for cloud computing. Policies, standardsand guidelines should be reviewed at regular interval. 5.Secure SDLCSecure SDLC incorporates identification of threats and risks, followed by design and implementation aspects relevant to threats and risks. The SecSDLC should provide consistency, repeatability and conformance. Here, the application code is written in a consistent manner which can be audited and enhanced. Core application services are provided in a common, structured and repeatable manner. Modules should be tested thoroughly for security issues. Internal and external  penetration testing should be done to ensure security aspects of implementation.6.Security architecture designA security architecture design must be prepared by considering processes, operational procedures, organizational management, and security program compliance. SA document should be developed which defined security and privacy principles. The following services should be provided with security process:a.Authentication b.Availabilityc.Authorizationd.Accountabilitye.Integrityf.Confidentialityg.PrivacyThe architectural design should be reviewed for new changes for better assessment. 7.Data privacyA gap analysis of controls and procedures should be done. Based on these results, privacy procedures and initiatives should be defined and managed. Based on size and scale of organization and operations, an individual person or team should be given responsibility for managing privacy. A team called privacy steering committee can be formulated to take decisions in privacy issues and problems.  International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA) ISSN No. :0975-0290 110 8.Data governanceData governance framework should be developed which defines a system for decision rights and accountability for  processes related to information. This data governance framework should include:a.Classification b.Analysisc.Protectiond.Privacye.Inventoryf.Recovery / retention / discoveryg.Destruction9.Data securityThe data level security is the challenge in cloud computing environment. Sensitive data is domain of organization, not of service provider. Security should be there at data level so that organization can ensure data security wherever it goes. 10.Application securityThis is one of the important factors for the success of any SaaS provider company. Here the security features and requirements are defined and application test results are reviewed. Collaborative efforts should be there between a security and development team for defining application security process, coding guidelines, training and testing tools and scripts.External penetration testing can be done to identify loop holes of the system. This must be done at regular interval of time. 11.Identity Access Management (IAM)Identity and access management are important functions for any organization. Expectation of SaaS customer is that least  privileges should be granted to his/her data. Principle says that only minimum access should be granted to perform any operation and that is again for minimum time period. Most of IAM solutions are designed to work in a controlled and static environment. User centric federated identity management solutions can be there. In this dynamic cloud environment, models of trust assumptions, privacy and authentication and authorization implications are challenges. To meet these challenges new models can be developed suitable for SaaS providers.Fig. 1 --Sample Identity Management Architecture for SaaSFig. 2 --Sample Enterprise Collaboration Architecture [4]C ONCLUSION Here, we have seen security issues and challenges for SaaS. A security management team can be established which takes care of all aspects for policy, standard and their implementation as well as training and testing aspects which can be a part of SDLC. Similar kind of challenges can be there for IaaS and PaaS also. R EFERENCES [1]Eric Marks, Bob Lozano, “Executive’s Guide to Cloud Computing”, John Wiley & Sons, 2010, pp. 28[2]http://cloudsecurity.org/2008/10/14/biggest-cloud-challenge-security, retrieved 21 Feb. 2009.[3]Werner Streitberger, Angelika Ruppel, “Cloud Computing Security Protection Goals, Taxonomy, Market Review”, Fraunhofer AISEC, 2010[4]John Rittinghouse, James Ransome, “Cloud Computing –Implementation, Management and Security”, CRC Press, 2010  International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA) ISSN No. :0975-0290 111 Biographies and Photographs Mr, Divyakant Meva is working as Assistant Professor at FCA, MEFGI, Rajkot. He has an experience of 11.5 year. He has  published more than 10 papers in International Journals. He is  pursuing his Ph.D. From Saurashtra University.Dr. C K Kumbharana is working as Associate Professor and Head at Department of Computer Science, Saurashtra University, Rajkot. He has more than 22 years teaching experience. His area of interest are speech processing and multimedia.
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