Different models of cloud computing have various ways of exposing their
underlying infrastructure to the user. This influences the degree of direct
control over the management of the computing infrastructure and the distribution
of responsibilities for managing its security. alt="IT Infrastructure Strategy Charter ISO" vspace=3 align=right
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  • Software as a Service (SaaS) model – most of the
    responsibility for security management lies with the cloud provider. SaaS
    provides a number of ways to control access to the Web portal, such as the
    management of user identities, application level configuration, and the
    ability to restrict access to specific IP address ranges or geographies.

  • Platform as a Service – allow clients to assume more
    responsibilities for managing the configuration and security for the
    middleware, database software, and application runtime environments. The
    Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model transfers even more control, and
    responsibility for security, from the cloud provider to the client. In this
    model, access is available to the operating system that supports virtual
    images, networking, and storage.

Organizations are intrigued with these cloud computing models because of
their flexibility and cost-effectiveness, but they are also concerned about
security. Recent cloud adoption studies by industry analysts and articles in the
press have confirmed these concerns, citing the lack of visibility and control,
concerns about the protection of sensitive information, and storage of regulated
information in a shared, externally managed environment.

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