Cybersecurity and environmental protection aren’t exactly words that are thrown together often. When you hear environmental protection, you might think of forests, clean air, or endangered species. When you hear cybersecurity you might think of hackers, email scams, or identity theft.
So what do cybersecurity and environmental protection have in common? A lot more than it initially appears. One of the main cybersecurity threats to the environment is at the infrastructure level. Take water infrastructure, for example. In developed economies most municipal drinking water supplies come from utility districts that rely on massive infrastructure to capture, clean, and distribute drinking water supplies.
And, once used, municipal water is transported away via wastewater infrastructure where it is treated and added back to natural systems.
What both the drinking water and wastewater systems have in common is that they are infrastructure intensive. Treating municipal water, at both the consumption and disposal ends of the spectrum requires pipelines, massive treatment facilities, and distribution networks. All of this infrastructure is tied together with command and control centers. And those centers are all operated from connected computer networks, which are vulnerable to a number of security threats ranging from outside hacks to insider bad actors.
Cloud computing is the delivery of different services through the Internet. These resources include tools and applications like data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software.Rather than keeping files on a proprietary hard drive or local storage device, cloud-based storage makes it possible to save them to a remote database. As long as an electronic device has access to the web, it has access to the data and the software programs to run it.Cloud computing is a popular option for people and businesses for a number of reasons including cost savings, increased productivity, speed and efficiency, performance, and security.Types of Cloud ServicesRegardless of the kind of service, cloud computing services provide users with a series of functions including:EmailStorage, backup, and data retrievalCreating and testing appsAnalyzing dataAudio and video streamingDelivering software on demandCloud computing is still a fairly new service but is being used by a number of different organizations from big corporations to small businesses, nonprofits to government agencies, and even individual consumers.Types of Cloud ComputingCloud computing is not a single piece of technology like a microchip or a cellphone. Rather, it's a system primarily comprised of three services: software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).Software-as-a-service (SaaS) involves the licensure of a software application to customers. Licenses are typically provided through a pay-as-you-go model or on-demand. This type of system can be found in Microsoft Office's 365.1Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) involves a method for delivering everything from operating systems to servers and storage through IP-based connectivity as part of an on-demand service. Clients can avoid the need to purchase software or servers, and instead procure these resources in an outsourced, on-demand service. Popular examples of the IaaS system include IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure.2 3Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is considered the most complex of the three layers of cloud-based computing. PaaS shares some similarities with SaaS, the primary difference being that instead of delivering software online, it is actually a platform for creating software that is delivered via the Internet. This model includes platforms like Salesforce.com and Heroku.Read More
A Cloud API is a software interface that allows developers to link cloud computing services together. Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow one computer program to make its data and functionality available for other programs to use. Developers use APIs to connect software components across a network. Cloud APIs are often categorized as being vendor-specific or cross-platform. Vendor-specific cloud APIs are written to support the cloud services of one specific provider, while cross-platform APIs allow developers to connect functionalities from two or more cloud providers. Cloud APIs are often categorized by type:PaaS APIs: Platform as a Service APIs provide access to back-end services such as databases.SaaS APIs: Software as a Service APIs facilitate connections between cloud services at the application layer.IaaS APIs: Infrastructure as a Service APIs enable cloud-based compute and storage resources to be provisioned and de-provisioned as quickly as possible.Read More