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CLOUD COMPUTING The use of computer resources that are delivered as service over a network of remote servers hosted

on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server. Cloud computing has been defined by NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) as a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or cloud provider interaction. Cloud computing technologies can be implemented in a wide variety of architectures, under different service and deployment models, and can coexist with other technologies and software design approaches. The security challenges cloud computing presents are formidable, including those faced by public clouds whose infrastructure and computational resources are owned and operated by an outside party that delivers services to the general public via a multitenant platform. There are a number of issues associated with Cloud computing of which the most significant is the security of both the cloud and the data contained in it. For the cloud, since it is using a distributed system of remote servers connected through different networks, these servers and networks must be made highly secure. Otherwise, if any of the servers or networks is breached, it can become an access point to obtain unauthorized access to all the data stored in the cloud. Cloud providers must also restrict unauthorized access to relevant customer data and also document all access to the servers or network. Also, cloud providers must have their own identity management system which they must integrate the customers identity management system into in order to control access to information on computing resources. Cloud providers should also institute a layered system for the data they keep in the cloud especially critical data such as personal information, digital identities and credentials such that only users with proper authorization can access all the data in full.

Third party applications that are required for the clouds functions must go through testing procedures implemented by the cloud provider in order to ensure that they do not act as conduits for unauthorized sending of information.

In conclusion, cloud computing is seen as the next big step in online data storage but the issues pertaining to security must be ironed out in order to make it a very attractive option for people who require data storage services.