Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of server software and hardware resource (e.g. data access, computing capacity, network bandwidth) over the Internet.  With virtualization technology, server resources can be divided into multiple virtual servers for different users.  Users can in effect “rent” computing resources without the need to acquire the expensive hardware or software items, or pay for management and repair.  In light of cost saving and maximum utilisation, the use of cloud computing has become popular in recent years.

Examples of cloud computing

Web mail (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo! Mail), cloud storage (e.g. iCloud, Google Drive, DropBox) that we use every day applied the technology of cloud computing.  Wherever you may be, all you need is a mobile phone or a computer which can access the internet, you can use cloud services via these platforms anytime. 

For companies, their staff can realise mobile or remote office by using the companies’ cloud system.  The companies can rent different cloud capabilities, cloud platforms or even cloud infrastructure depending on their operational needs or budgets.

Security risks of cloud computing

As companies and users’ data stores on cloud servers, data security is the most important concern.  Data uploaded to the cloud may expose to leakage risk when servers being hacked, lack of encryption or proper access control.  In the case of hardware failure, unstable network connection or personal mistake, business operation may be disrupted.

Advice

  • Choose reliable service providers with good reputation, such as those supported by an independent information security management certification (e.g. ISO/IEC 27001).
  • Pay attention to the terms of service and security & privacy policy.
  • Use encryption to protect stored data and use encrypted communication channel.
  • Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
  • Secure the access device physically – Hackers can access cloud platform from your device.
  • Do not upload sensitive data to the cloud if it is not necessary.

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