The importance of Cloud Computing is increasing and it is receiving a growing attention in the scientific and industrial communities. A most recent studies considered Cloud Computing as the first among the top 10 most important technologies and with a better prospect in successive years by companies and organizations.
Cloud Computing enables ubiquitous, 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 service provider interaction.
Cloud Computing combines a number of computing concepts and technologies such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Web 2.0, virtualization and other technologies with reliance on the Internet, providing common business applications online through web browsers to satisfy the computing needs of users, while their software and data are stored on the servers . In some respects, Cloud Computing represents the maturing of these technologies and is a marketing term to represent that maturity and the services they provide.
Security concerns relate to risk areas such as external data storage, dependency on the “public” internet, lack of control, multi-tenancy and integration with internal security. Compared to traditional technologies, the cloud has many specific features, such as its large scale and the fact that resources belonging to cloud providers are completely distributed, heterogeneous and totally virtualized. Traditional security mechanisms such as identity, authentication, and authorization are no longer enough for clouds in their current form.
Moving critical applications and sensitive data to public cloud environments is of great concern for those corporations that are moving beyond their data center’s network under their control. To alleviate these concerns, a cloud solution provider must ensure that customers will continue to have the same security and privacy controls over their applications and services, provide evidence to customers that their organization are secure and they can meet their service-level agreements, and that they can prove compliance to auditors.