One of the major challenges confronted by the security teams while evaluating cloud projects is how to bring in the desired parity within existing security provisions. Will it be possible for them to have the same level of control parameters within the cloud environment as they can have in their own data centers? Not surprisingly, we would say that the answer too often has been "NO".

Perhaps, the scenario is now gradually improving with the virtual private cloud offerings from many prominent IaaS service providers.

Through this article, we would like to throw light on various emerging and existing aspects of cloud security controls that enterprises can integrate and manage themselves in private and hybrid environments.

- Network security:The first realm of controls that most of the organizations instantaneously seek to imitate in cloud environments is network security, right from firewalls to intrusion detection or prevention mechanisms and even filtering of web application. At present, there are numerous of cloud providers that have private cloud offerings that enable the end-users to utilize client-managed network security platform. They offer a virtual private cloud model that customers can simply download and even integrate virtual network security applications into it. Many of these approaches offer analogous or comparable functionality to most on-premises network security provisions these days. Customers should seek for security attributes that are explicit to the platform, such as filtering provisions for firewalls and occasion alerts raise and proper instructions and guidelines for interloping detection, but should also pay heed on management capabilities, as well as ease of installation and maintenance.

-Encryption: Another area that is grabbing the attention of the enterprises is encryption provision in the cloud platform. The service providers offer dedicated hardware security module application that permits fully controlled access to and distribution of cryptographic keys for the protection of mission-critical data in systems and applications in the cloud. By means of this provision, even the service provider doesn't have the access to the platform once it is deployed, and the system runs as per the stringent regulatory requirements for compliance.

-Discern more about latent encryption concerns that can surface in the cloud:Given the intrinsic wariness of cloud provider in regards to security provisions, a user-managed encryption platform may offer one of the most justifiable security measures for cloud deployments in times coming ahead. It is highly probable that more cloud service providers will deploy these security-based applications as they become available, or soon will be building their own offerings. However, there are still possibilities that cloud customers may gauge the cloud encryption. Firstly, may be those who actually have their own platform. In case the service providers have their own platform, then do they have complete and secure access to it or not? Can they guarantee that the crucial data is removed completely during the termination of service? Another major risk can be the availability and troubleshooting; can customers satisfactorily pull through the complete data unharmed from the device and the solutions if in case the device experiences unexpected failure? If backups are done, then what is the location where it is stored, and who does that? These are the types of queries and concerns that customers should voice while deciding on taking up a cloud-based encryption provision.

In few words:

Within hosted private and hybrid cloud environments, nowadays myriad of alternatives are becoming more available that empower organizations to easily configure and administer their own security provisions. Albeit, the mainstream of alternatives at present fall into the managed or co-managed classes, it's clear that the service providers are nowadays being more receptive about the different types of hypervisors and other compatibility attributes available to clients, and with this move entails greater degree of flexibility during the installation of these security-centric applications.

Nevertheless, there are certain service providers those who are leading in this race simply by offering ready-made systems and applications, while other cloud providers may just enable attuned platforms or applications to be installed autonomously. To get enterprises move on to the cloud computing platform, it must be quite clear by now that the self-managed cloud security provisions are a smart and lucrative option and will likely grow in the coming years.