In the digital age, there are no borders, and cloud computing permits data to be sent from the United States, to be processed in Germany, and stored in India.Cloud computing allows users to access computing services, including hardware and software, through a network, which is generally the Internet. Users are able to access cloud-based applications through a web browser or mobile application. These applications are stored on a remote server at a different location. Accordingly, online access allows users to virtually participate in cloud computing from any location. Cloud computing providers deliver resources across a broad network to permit access to software, platform and infrastructure to the end users. However, cloud computing is effectively different depending on whether the user is a consumer or a commercial entity.
Cloud-computing supporters argue that this system allows users to save the cost of establishing and maintaining an infrastructure that provides the same applications. Additionally, it allows users to avoid network and application maintenance costs, which further allows them to focus on their individual work rather than on network malfunctions. A cloud-computing network allows users to effectively outsource network operations to the cloud-computing provider, thereby reducing operational costs for the user. A recent survey suggests that by saving these resources, users are able to reinvest in innovation, product and service development, and as a result, increase sales.
At this time, there are no universal standards that govern cloud computing. Therefore, companies are virtually free to define the parameters of their participation in this revolutionary cyber practice. Unfortunately, this freedom and lack of regulation leads to significant cyber security concerns. In response to increased security concerns, cloud-computing providers have begun to provide for "private" cloud computing networks that are limited to single-user pools. For example, SingleHop, a global cloud-computing leader, released VMware Enterprise Private Cloud, which provides a private cloud environment for individual users. These individual networks, are designed to fit a private user's individual needs and preferences, with individual storage options. SingleHop has effectively provided a private cyberspace with the strength and flexibility of a cloud-computing network.
Nonetheless, security concerns continue to plague growing cloud-computing networks. For example, data breaches are still a substantial concern, where weakness in one client's browser or device will implicate every other client's data, and potentially the entire network. There is also the threat that cloud computing can cause data loss, where a user's data is lost without the chance of recovery. Data loss can occur at the hands of malicious hackers, and natural disasters that harm the cloud's infrastructure. Furthermore, users stand to lose a lot in the event that the network or interface becomes unavailable. Users may be deprived from accessing valuable files and applications if a cloud-computing network loses connectivity, or if the user is unable to secure network access. Increasing access to information and networks also implicates malicious users who will access this information for their personal gain, while harming the innocent user. Finally, the expansive nature of cloud computing may allow malicious users to access the network to carry out improper initiatives. For instance, a user could launch a virus across an entire cloud network, destroying unimaginable amounts of information and harming endless users.
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