The following is a guest editorial by Sarah Le, Business Development and Marketing Manager, Iritech, Inc.
Cloud computing security concerns
Cloud computing is defined as a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared large number of configurable computing resources, for example: networks, servers, storage, applications, and services that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Cloud computing is an emerging field of computer networking which is providing opportunities to use hardware, infrastructure or application as a service. Many organizations are considering cloud computing as cost effective, secure and suitable solution for their needs. However, security concerns are involved with using cloud services provided by a third party.
One of the security risks in cloud computing according to Garfunkel is hacked passwords or data intrusion. If someone hacks a password they get control over the resources. They can manipulate the information or disable the services. Furthermore, given the example of Amazon for a discussion of the potential risks of email, there is a possibility for the user’s email (Amazon user name) to be hacked, and since Amazon allows a lost password to be reset by email, the hacker may still be able to log in to the account after receiving the new reset password. On the other hand, the data breach at U.S retailer Target in 2013, resulting in the loss of personal and credit card information of up to 110 million individuals was one of a series of startling thefts that took place during the normal processing and storage of data. “Cloud computing introduces significant new avenues of attack,” said the CSA report’s authors.
Cloud-based biometric technology
The first solution that comes to mind with respect to the outlined issues is moving the existing biometric technology to a cloud platform that ensures appropriate scalability of the technology, sufficient amounts of storage, parallel processing capabilities, and – with the widespread availability of mobile devices – also provides an accessible entry point for various applications and services that rely on mobile clients. Hence, cloud computing is capable of addressing issues related to the next generation of biometric technology, but at the same time, offering new application possibilities for the existing generation of biometric systems. Biometrics in cloud technology may help clients to ensure their information security while the service providers may consider this to be a cost effective security solution.
Cloud-based biometric technology offers attractive deployment possibilities, such as smart spaces, ambient intelligence environments, access control applications, mobile application, and the like. While traditional (locally deployed) technology has been around for some time now, cloud-based biometric recognition technology is relatively new. There are, however, a number of existing solutions already on the market; these include the solutions by Animetrics, BioID and, of course, Face.com, which has recently been acquired by Facebook.
Mobile cloud-based biometric – Emerging market trend
According to a Bloomberg survey, the cloud computing will earn around $ 270 billion in 2020. Due to the advantages such as flexibility, mobility, and costs saving, the number of cloud users is expected to grow rapidly. Recent advances in cloud computing have given a platform to various computationally heavy tasks and made them readily accessible to even mobile devices. According to a recent research, a New York-based firm, studies that more than 240 million businesses will use cloud services through mobile devices by 2015. That traction will push the revenue of mobile cloud computing to $5.2 billion.
In March 2015, Samsung announced its licensing of SRI’s iris solution for their mobile devices and started with Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 tablet. Additonally, the other top smartphone manufacturers such as Apple, Sony, and HTC have already introduced biometrics applications, such as fingerprint and voice, to their upcoming products. As the devices increase in the market with the incorporation of biometric technology, it becomes easy for a user to adopt biometric for security on clouds. The combination of biometric and cloud computing in mobile devices offers users the more convenient and secure space in taking their data out of homes and offices and put in their pockets.