Cloud

Icebergs in the Clouds: The Other Risks of Cloud Computing

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Executive Summary

Cloud computing is appealing from management and efficiency perspectives, but brings risks both known and unknown. Well-known and hotly-debated information security risks, due to software vulnerabilities, insider attacks, and side-channels for example, may be only the "Tip of the iceberg." As diverse, independently developed cloud services share ever more fluidly and aggressively multiplexed hardware resource pools, unpredictable interactions between load-balancing and other reactive mechanisms could lead to dynamic instabilities or "Meltdowns." Non-transparent layering structures, where alternative cloud services may appear independent but share deep, hidden resource dependencies, may create unexpected and potentially catastrophic failure correlations, reminiscent of financial industry crashes.

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