Cloud Computing vs. Data Security

cloud computing
cloud computing

Cloud computing has in recent years become both an essential service used in many industries and a ubiquitous part of the daily life of consumers. By offering remote access to computing services that can be rented out on a flexible, efficient, as-needed basis, it gives companies access to greater computer power and storage capabilities than they might be able to maintain on their own legacy servers and do more advanced analytics with their data.

According to a report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), “The cloud computing model offers the promise of massive cost savings combined with increased IT agility.”

Cloud computing has become a particularly critical feature of modern life since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many employees moved to remote workplaces and had to use cloud services in order to collaborate with their colleagues.

The opportunities that cloud computing offers, however, also come with challenges in the realm of data security. Cloud servers can contain highly sensitive personal data that could be lost in leaks or stolen by hackers, such as medical data from hospitals, financial information from banks, or data on young children in schools. It is not always clear, when using third-party cloud services, which party is in charge of maintaining security protocols, complying with privacy laws and data regulations, and monitoring for leaks or vulnerabilities. It’s therefore crucial to understand how data security intersects with the cloud.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a service that allows users to access computing power and resources, such as data storage, servers, and computation, without needing to be in the same physical space as the computing equipment. The aforementioned NIST report defines cloud computing as “a model for enabling convenient, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”