In the Cloud Technology (ITC) is the kind of technology that
“takes care of itself”. The end user doesn’t have to worry about upgrading,
upscaling or hardware support. Everything is taken care of by the service
The best way to describe Cloud Technology is by example.
Thousands of items get sold on eBay on a daily basis. For people to sell them a
traditional way, they would have to register and open up a store. That requires
renting a space, buying furniture, spending many hours in there, waiting for
customers to come and consider buying the item. A very expensive endeavor for a
couple of items. All of them however avoided by just using the services
provided by eBay. eBay happens in the cloud. It allows its users to log in and
place the selling request. Everything else just happens.
That’s the basic principle of ITC. It is up there,
somewhere, always ready and available. People just have to plug in and use.
Nobody cares how it works, on what operating system or how many computers are
needed to drive the service provided. As long as everything is safe of course.
Other examples of ITC are: Facebook, Google Apps, Skype,
The advantages of the technology are various and many. The
most notable of them is cost reduction. Cloud technology is paid like a
service: only when the client uses it or based on a monthly subscription. So
instead of buying a whole data server to store your files, you only rent some
hard drive space on already existing servers.
Also sustainability is a major factor since resources
are utilized more efficiently which reduces energy consumption (instead of two
computers doing less, we have one computer doing more).
The whole system is also highly automated. Companies
no longer have to hire skilled IT personnel to manage their servers or
Mobility increases as well, since customers can
access information wherever they are instead of having to sit at their desks.
Scalability is a worry of the past as well, since the
service providers will do everything possible to fit their clients’ needs.
People tend to worry about their data submitted to services
such as Google Docs or BitDefender Online Backup because they are not certain
of the security measures taken to ensure their integrity. This happens because
they generally choose services without throughly reading the privacy &
policy statement that describes these conditions in detail.
The following terms should be researched in detail before
considering using any cloud service:
1. User access – who has access to data, under what
form and how is the hiring of such personnel performed
2. Regulatory compliance – security certifications
and/or external audits are beneficial to the overall security status
3. Data recovery – what happens in case of
disaster; do they offer complete restoration, and if, how long does it take
4. Encryption – make sure all stages of data
submission are encrypted and that the encryption algorithms were designed and
tested by experienced professionals
5. Long-term viability – how will data be returned
in case the company goes out of business
In practice, one can best determine data-recovery
capabilities only by experiment. Asking them to get back old data will show the
client how long it takes and if the recovery is accurate.
Security however has two other components besides the
server-side implications. One of them is the transaction between the client and
the server, which mostly is secured easily in sensitive situations. The other,
is the clients computer itself. This is a task to be reckoned with.
BitDefender has developed a very light-weight malware
scanner that runs from the clients’ browser, scans all the running processes
and reports whether the files are infected or not. Installing complex antivirus
applications becomes redundant unless you want a very high level of protection.
Called QuickScan , BitDefender offers the products free of
charge as a browser plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer or as a debug
executable (since it’s till in beta phase). The scanning and detection process
happens in several stages:
- the QuickScan module detects all running
processes (even hidden ones – rootkits) and creates hashes for the associated
- the hashes are sent to the BitDefender server
- if the hashes don’t match the stored values in
the BitDefender database the file is probably infected
- the QuickScan module will upload the file to the
server, where it will be scanned with the BitDefender engines
- if the engines return a clean code, the file
hash is added to the database. If the engines return an infected code, the user
will be notified about the infection at the end of the scan
The best thing about it: everything happens in the cloud.