Top 5 Security Concerns for Applications in Cloud Computing

Internal development teams have worked with "For Internal Use Only� in mind. And then came the cloud.

By Sue Poremba | Posted Jun 16, 2010
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Validate input parameters

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Internally, the application had only trusted users who used the application �as intended,� and there was not a strong need to validate user input, i.e., in form fields of the application.

Challenge: There is a variety of typical Web application vulnerabilities that target weak input validation, including all classes of injection attacks, more commonly SQL injection. If the application moves �to the cloud,� all input parameters of the application need to be validated. This could either be implemented within the application itself or in front of the application in a so-called Web application firewall.

Applications are typically built from the ground up using programming languages, such as PHP, JAVA or .NET by an internal development team or a third-party vendor with "For Internal Use Only� in mind.  There has been a general assumption by development teams that users can always be trusted, the application will be used "as intended,� and all information (i.e., user data) and content (i.e., product data from databases or ERP systems) are coming from safe and secure sources.

As cloud computing becomes more favorable among companies, they are forcing their applications out of the internal network into the cloud, causing them to be vulnerable to Web threats.  If the application, or part of the application, is moved into the cloud, there will be typically less security within the infrastructure and several more users will be accessing it.  Therefore, vulnerabilities turn up and hacks occur.  The following are typical challenges enterprises face when moving an application to the cloud, prepared by security vendor Art of Defence.

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