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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Perform regular source code reviews and vulnerability assessments

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As internal users were trusted, the application had not been exposed to such things like security source code reviews or security vulnerability tests in general.

Challenges: The challenges mentioned up until now are common issues noted by the OWASP Top 10. There are more very likely vulnerabilities to make the list, such as Cross Site Scripting, and many more that have not made the OWASP Top 10 yet. Regular source code audits/vulnerability assessments and the use of embedded or external WAFs can prevent these vulnerabilities.

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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