Unsurprisingly, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is becoming increasingly popular for organizations of all sizes – the fastest-growing segment of cloud computing. Enterprises are constantly moving their workload to the IaaS platform from legacy infrastructure because of its speed and flexibility. Gartner expects IaaS to grow nearly 13.4 % to approx $ 50 billion.
However, since it is a cloud-based concept, there are no denying security issues and risks. The catch here is that just one feature cannot provide complete security for an IaaS environment. This is because securing the IaaS platform is a kind of shared responsibility in which the customer’s responsibilities include securing the design, deployment, and operation of the cloud infrastructure.
Responsibilities also include securing the cloud in terms of firewalls, operating systems, data, platforms, and more, while providers must secure the cloud in terms of storage, global infrastructure, database, computing, etc.
Common Iaas Cloud security risks to be aware of –
Infrastructure as a service has some challenges that need to be addressed to ensure high performance. These issues can be divided into two more extensive categories.
Component security issues
- SLA issues
An SLA is an agreement between a customer and a service provider regarding the quality of services and the guarantee of uptime. Ensuring SLA compliance and proper monitoring of SLA is one of the most common challenges faced in maintaining trust between a supplier and a customer. The solution to this problem is the Web Services Level Agreement (WSLA) framework, which is designed to monitor and enforce service-oriented architecture. WSLA maintains SLA trust by enabling third-party innovations to maintain SLA clauses in cloud computing.
- Problems associated with utility computing
Utility computing is known to be the business entity of grid and cluster computing, for which users are charged for using the services. The main problem with utility computing is its complexity; for example, a service provider provides services to a second provider who also provides services to others. This makes it difficult to record payment services. Another tricky issue is that the entire system will become vulnerable to attackers who want to access services without paying.
The answer to the first challenge is Amazon Devpay, which allows a second-tier provider to measure service usage and bill the consumer accordingly. The solution to the second problem is that the service provider must protect the system from viruses and malware and keep the system secure. The system is also influenced by the client’s practice; therefore, the client must keep the authentication keys secure.
- Problems associated with cloud software
Cloud software is the key that connects cloud components and acts as a single component. A cyber attacker can attack the security protocols of XML services and attack web services, which can completely disrupt communication between services. The solution to prevent such attacks is XML signing for authentication and integrity protection. Another solution is XML encryption, which encapsulates the data in encrypted form, and that data needs to be decrypted to get the original data.
- Network related problems
Internet connectivity and network services play a critical role in the provision of services over the Internet. There are network and Internet connectivity issues such as a Man in the Middle attack – where an attacker manipulates the network connection, generating middleman access from where the attacker can gain access to all classified permissions and data. Another type of such attack is known as a “flood” attack, where an unauthorized user submits bulk requests to increase the likelihood of an attack from those requests. Potential solutions include traffic encryption, which uses point-to-point protocols to encrypt communications to avoid external attacks. Another suitable solution would be continuous and efficient network monitoring of services to verify that all network parameters are working correctly. External attacks can also be avoided by installing firewalls to protect your connection from external attacks.
General security issues
Common security concerns are assessed based on common services leased by the IaaS provider. Some of these problems are:
- Monitoring data leakage and usage :
All data stored in the cloud must remain confidential. This indicates that suppliers and customers need to know how data is accessed and ensure that only authorized users can access the data. These issues can be addressed with modern data management services that continuously monitor data usage and restrict data usage in accordance with security policies.
- Logging and reporting :
To make your IaaS deployment more efficient, you need to make good use of the proper logging and reporting modules. Superior logging and reporting solutions track the location of information, its user, information about the machines that process it, and the storage area in which it is stored.
- Authorization and authentication :
It is well known that simply using a username and password may not be enough for a strong authentication mechanism. This is the most common security measure that a system must support. The service provider must use multi-factor authentication to combat this threat.
These are some of the risks and challenges that need to be addressed before deploying any service to the cloud. Resources must be effectively monitored to ensure the quality of service and high performance from suppliers. It’s always best to take preventive action before things get out of hand. Industry officials have strongly encouraged serious thinking about IaaS security. While securing an IaaS environment is challenging, a high level of control allows the customer to design and implement security measures as per their requirements.