Assessment task

Students are required to write an academic report as per the format outlined in chapter 5 of the textbook. The report must follow Harvard citation and referencing guidelines. Please note that the prescribed textbook uses APA referencing guidelines. See also the Referencing Style subsection below.

The report is to be based on the following scenario about security and privacy in cloud computing.

Recently increased use of mobile devices and the growth of the Internet in current business practices have led to the provision of Cloud Computing which relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices handle software applications. Cloud Computing can be thought of as many different computers pretending to be one computing environment. It provides the delivery of computer and storage resources as a service to end-users using the Internet.

There is a significant benefit to organisations in the leverage of Cloud Computing services, not least of which is the potential for significant cost savings. But security concerns have led organisations to be wary of moving critical resources to the Cloud. Businesses and individuals are concerned about how security and integrity of their data can be maintained in this new environment. Providers of Cloud Computing argue that they have in place security benefits which they offer to their customers who choose to move their data and information systems to the Cloud.

For more information on Cloud Computing watch this video entitled “Cloud Computing in Plain English”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txvGNDnKNWw

You are the ICT manager of a large organisation (1000 employees) based in Melbourne. Your supervisor has asked you to research Cloud Computing and write a report to be presented at the next executive meeting. You are required to prepare a report that explores:

  1. The advantages and disadvantages to an organisation of using Cloud Computing, for example, the potential to reduce costs, the risk of making the organisation’s data more vulnerable to hacking.
  2. The security implications for staff and customers of the organisation.
  3. The opportunities to grow the business using Cloud Computing.

Your report should include recommendations that provide guidelines for the organisation with respect to implementing Cloud Computing practices.

 

Solution Preview:

 

Introduction

The cloud computing implementation and deployment successfully addressing all the issues relating to the privacy, trust and security is a difficult challenge to deal with. This is due to the widespread use of cloud technologies among various organizations that bring into sharper focus links among issues.

The technology of cloud computing is not new or particularly innovative but the public policy challenge creates problem on whether their combination in a cloud environment undermines or degrades current policy approaches. There are a number of policies that can harm the development of cloud computing. So for successful implementation and deployment of cloud computing ………………………………

Purpose and scope of the report

The purpose of this report is to give an insight into cloud computing technology and the security and privacy challenges relating to it. We study the various aspects of cloud computing and see its impact on our organization. The report shows the results of analysis of the threats, risks, and safeguards for cloud computing environments, and provides the overview required to make informed information technology decisions on their treatment.

Process

For this purpose, we need to conduct a study of the different organizations opting cloud computing and analyze different risk and threats involved in the organization. After analysis we display our results in the report with the conclusion and the recommendations.

Observations

We observe through our analysis that the widespread use of cloud computing might affect globally established data protection principles adversely. The technological challenges of providing confidentiality of the data in the cloud present potential barriers to establishing trust. Cloud computing deployment also ………………………………………

 

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is defined as a model that can enable convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

The cloud computing is categorized broadly into three categories:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Advantages of cloud computing

Cost Efficient:

First and foremost advantage of a cloud is the cost benefit it provides because of the outsourcing of the complete IT infrastructure to the third party vendors. Originally they had to use various soft wares for their operations which cost a lot and on top of their license fees as per the number of users they require……………………………………………………

Storage:

Having cloud as the backbone data center provides the organizations kind of unlimited storage for information storage as normally cloud providers have huge storage capacity. Hence, cloud provides the business continuity and availability service where one doesn’t need to worry about the storage limitation or about increasing the storage capacity.

Backup and Recovery:

Cloud computing normally handles the concept of data backup and recovery of it very well which makes the backing up and its restoration easier than the physical device storing the data in itself at first place. They provide the utilities in order to have the recovery process hassle free and the data doesn’t lose its integrity there by keeping the organization data accurate. ………………………………………………..

 

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Technical Issues:

There is a probability of the cloud to become unresponsive due to outages and various technical issues. Despite of the fact that cloud providers takes care of their cloud’s high availability but still many face the downtime. On top of this it has the high dependency on the internet connection that too a good one.

Security:

Because of the cloud’s accessibility through internet which is highly prone to lurking and security breaches. One always feels apprehensive over the security aspect of the information cloud stores. And on top of that the idea of cloud consumers putting their highly clandestine data onto the third party ………………………………………

Cloud Compatibility Issues:

The cloud needs to be able to collaborate with the organization’s existing IT applications. There should be the minimum possible need of modifying the existing applications which are mandatory to integrate with the new cloud being setup. ……………………………………………..

Compliance of the Cloud:

We observe that in our organization, the data needs to be stored on multiple servers which can be spread across countries or cities. Our organization is situated in Melbourne but we may ne
ed to store the database somewhere across the cities on separate servers……………………………………………………….

 

Security implications of cloud computing for staff and customers

Due to the evolvement of Cloud computing in our organization, the new skills are required to be incorporated amongst the staff members and so is the training required. Due to lack of understanding the existing staff of 1000 employees is likely to be replaced by the trained staff and hence it may result in loss of security of their employment.

The tradeoff between new and old staff creates an issue in terms of customer satisfaction. Because one way or the other the customer needs need to be satisfied. The old staff will not understand the cloud computing that thoroughly as the new staff whereas the new staff will lack in understanding the existing organization’s resources.  Also the change in the learning skills of existing staff is resisted by their side.

There is one more option that we keep our 1000 employees intact and hire new employees to handle cloud computing in our organization.

The staff of the organization needs to withstand the scrutiny…………………………….

 

The opportunities to grow the business using Cloud Computing

With cloud computing, business can get rid of its IT infrastructure and take into the on demand service from the cloud in turn increasing the responsiveness, flexibility in their operations and being competitive in the market. Instead of going into the lifecycle of software development, an organization can subscribe to readily available pay per use facility, providing them the opportunity to launch themselves ahead of time. Following are the key benefits provided by cloud for business growth:

  • Cloud computing provides the scalability in real time by which organizations can take care of the heavy load during special days say festivals, thus increasing their business with no impact on the productivity.

With the global reach of the cloud, organizations can get to the customers sitting in the vast corners of the world very quickly enabling them to spread their wings………………………………………….

Conclusion

For this study and analysis we conclude that cloud computing has prominent effect on the systems and networks of organizations. There has to be a balance between the cost and performance benefits of public cloud computing and the fundamental security and privacy concerns of the organizations having cloud computing. We also observe that the advantages of cloud computing can be harmful at times and may not comply with the traditional…………………………………

 

Recommendations

In the area of Governance, the organizational practices of the policies, procedures, and standards used for application development should be extended. The service of the cloud, its design, implementation, testing and monitoring of deployed or engaged services should also be extended in the area of governance. The audit mechanisms and tools to ensure that organizational practices are followed throughout the system lifecycle should be put in place.

For ensuring the compliance, the various laws and regulations need to be understood that impose security and privacy obligations………………………………………

 

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