FAQ: Addressing cloud computing security concerns

Customers have many cloud computing security concerns, and providers need a strategy for addressing them. Get answers to your top cloud security questions in this FAQ guide.

The confusion that surrounds cloud security can be a source of anxiety for cloud providers and potential customers -- stalling adoption and hindering confidence in the technology. That's why the ability to address cloud computing security concerns with certainty and ensure the safety of sensitive information in the cloud can be a game changer in the eyes of most customers.

But customers aren't the only ones with questions. Providers face their own challenges in identifying cloud security issues and discussing them with customers. Get ahead of any questions or concerns that come your way with this FAQ guide for providers.

Table of contents:

Transparency and your cloud security policy: Where should you draw the line?

The ideal cloud security policy should let providers make their procedures clear without revealing all the technology at work. It's important for customers to be informed not only about what security measures a provider is taking, but also about how those procedures are documented. Find out precisely how much information to disclose to customers and where to draw the line.

Is there a way to ensure that highly sensitive data will be safe in the cloud?

Not many people would be comfortable storing their Social Security numbers in the cloud, and in many cases, they probably shouldn't be. That doesn't mean all sensitive data is off limits, but providers must learn how to evaluate various security architectures to provide optimal protection for sensitive data in a cloud computing environment. There is always a chance that cybercriminals and hackers can gain access to sensitive information, but by following a preventative process, you can significantly heighten your defenses.

How can providers show that their services are as secure as enterprise data centers?

Providers need to be able to demonstrate to prospective enterprise clients that the cloud computing services they offer are secure. Understanding and acknowledging that new threats appear every day is half the battle, but there are other important questions you must be ready to answer to close the deal.

What kind of visibility challenges does virtualization cause for providers?

Virtualization is the backbone of most cloud services, but this technology also poses challenges for providers. Customers with compliance requirements often demand a high level of visibility into security controls, which can sometimes be troublesome in a highly virtualized cloud. Learning about these issues can be a huge differentiator when attempting to attract enterprise customers.

Which elements of a cloud service are most vulnerable to external attacks?

Cloud services are vulnerable to an array of security breaches and attacks, making it vital that cloud providers make their services resilient. Fortunately, there are ways for providers to better protect the sensitive resources they host -- including looking into best practices and keeping up with the ever-evolving threat landscape.