Five Common Problems in Cloud Computing

By David Buckwald  |  Posted 2010-09-27 Print this article Print

Five common problems in cloud computing

These emerging cloud computing trends present a host of new security concerns for IT. I have seen that five of the most common problems are:

Problem No. 1: P2P traffic

P2P applications can steal bandwidth and introduce malware. These applications can be particularly difficult to control, as developers frequently update new builds specifically designed to evade firewall defenses by alternating port usage.

Problem No. 2: Streaming media

Streaming music and video traffic can place a heavy burden on network performance and overwhelm mission-critical application traffic. For example, one IT administrator was perplexed about why it took over an hour and a half to download a patch file that should have taken only a few minutes. He could not figure out what was bottlenecking his recently expanded Internet pipe. He then realized that it was the first day of a NCAA tournament and a large number of employees had tuned in to online streaming video and audio commentary, killing network throughput and company productivity.

Problem No. 3: Confidential data transmittal

Confidential, sensitive and proprietary information can be maliciously or unintentionally transmitted over FTP uploads or as e-mail attachments. Job insecurity, whether actual or rumored, can cause employees to download customer, order and payment histories. One study found that over half of employees anticipating rumored layoffs had downloaded competitive corporate data.

Problem No. 4: Third-party e-mail

Third-party e-mail presents another channel for potential malware infection and data leakage. Not only can employees and contractors transfer confidential information over corporate SMTP and POP3 e-mail but also personal Web mail services such as Hotmail and Gmail.

Problem No. 5: Large file transfers

Without effective control, large file transfers-whether over FTP or P2P applications-can bog down network bandwidth.

David Buckwald is Director of Systems Engineering at SonicWALL. Prior to SonicWALL, David spent seven years at Aventail as the director of systems engineering for the United States. David has over 20 years of experience in networking, security, and systems management technologies. Prior to Aventail, David was a principal systems engineer at Tivoli Systems and a Certified Networking Specialist at IBM. David holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from SUNY Potsdam and a Master's degree in Information Management from Polytechnic University. He can be reached at

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