Researchers at Iowa State University have identified six essential aspects of security with which cloud computing -- the use of remote computers accessed via the Internet to store, manage and process data -- must concern itself.
Among them are confidentiality, insuring data is kept secret; integrity, ensuring data remains unaltered without permission; and availability, so that data is always accessible to those authorized to use it.
Also vital, researchers said, is that data can be processed by those authorized to access it and validated as authentic, and that users have full control over their own data.
Shortcomings, real or perceived, in any of these six areas could dissuade some users from adopting cloud computing, researchers reported in the International Journal of Communication Networks and Distributed Systems.
Cloud computing applications and services include Web-based e-mail, media streaming systems, online data storage and backup, and content delivery networks for Web sites and blogs.