Curtailing the Threats to Cloud Computing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Curtailing the Threats to Cloud Computing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

John Gyang Chaka (University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa) and Mudaray Marimuthu (University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4763-1.ch004


Cloud computing enables end users to make use of third party's resources to support their computing needs. The services offered by cloud computing make the technology very critical to the fourth industrial revolution. The benefits include cost minimization, scalability of services, speed, integration and higher data management, low innovation risk, and quicker response to organizational needs, among others. However, these benefits have been threatened by a number of security threats. This chapter seeks to curtail the effects of these threats by enlightening and educating users on the current ways to mitigate them. The chapter first defines cloud computing and highlights its relevance or benefits to businesses in the fourth industrial revolution. In addition, various security threats that are associated with cloud computing are brought to the fore. Thereafter, various measures that are used to mitigate the threats are discussed. The chapter concludes that with adequate enlightenment, the full benefits of cloud computing in industry 4.0 would be better enjoyed by users.
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Cloud computing signifies or represents a deviation from the traditional storage and management of computing resources which are limited by factors such as size, space and cost among others. Cloud computing describes an environment where computing resources can be accessed on a larger scale by users through the Internet and the Web (Chappell, 2011; Stair & Reynolds, 2016). It is simply a way of maximizing the use of resources while minimising cost. Perhaps a clearer description of cloud computing is provided by Rao, Leelaran, and Kumar (2013, p. 3390) who simply see cloud computing as “using the Internet to access someone else’s software running on someone else’s hardware in someone else’s datacenter”. Among resources that can be shared in a cloud are hardware, data storage and data management facilities, applications, and many other services (Hatwar & Chavan, 2015). These resources are not only shared simultaneously by multiple users but can be used in turns by re-allocation to users in different time zones. This way, less demand is made on the environment since less power, air conditioning and space would be required for the same services. Typical examples of cloud services include iCloud, Google drive, and Dropbox. Other services include those provided by social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn (Kazim & Zhu, 2015). The most common example of cloud services that is used by most people is the electronic mail (e-mail) service provided by Google, Yahoo and other providers (Chou, 2013).

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