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Thin Clients, the Cloud, and Security

IT security is all about trying to lower risks and increase the protection of your organization

IT security is all about trying to lower risks and increase the protection of your organization. With each new technology that comes along, there’s a new security challenge. Some of those technologies – like wireless networks or the Internet – have such an impact on security that they turn the whole world on its head. Two of the most recent technological advancements that are impacting the security world are cloud computing and thin clients.

Are thin clients less vulnerable?

There are some who suggest that thin clients may be less vulnerable to security problems. Thin clients have simpler and tighter code, which should mean that there are fewer possible security exploits and fewer opportunities for bugs. Those things are certainly true, on some level.

Unfortunately, most thin clients use browser-based solutions to provide functionality to the end-users. Web browsers, unlike the thin clients themselves, are highly exploitable. Every browser has its security problems, and while you may find one browser that’s more secure than another, the risks tend to number in the hundreds.

Even the upcoming OS solutions for thin clients tend to rely on the browser, which takes that OS security we mentioned earlier and puts it at risk. This is the biggest challenge for security in a thin-client environment: securing the browser.

Cloud security concerns

By their very nature, cloud platforms are a security challenge. They rely on virtualization, which carries the same risk as any other physical computing environment but adds in guest-host and guest-guest risks.

In addition, cloud solutions run other risks. For example, customers share the same database in some cloud environments. This is a security risk you just don’t have with in-house solutions. Add in authentication and authorization procedures that may nto be the best, and cloud solutions can become shaky.

On top of all of that, it’s awfully hard for a cloud vendor to physically secure your data when, in all likelihood, it’s hard to say at any given time where your data might be located.

Clouds can be as secure as a traditional network, but the key here is making sure you get a good look at the vendor’s security protocols and procedures, and make sure that they’re up to snuff.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.