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Increased Security Vulnerabilities

The moving of business data to the cloud means that the responsibility over data security becomes shared with the cloud provider. The remote usage of IT resources requires an expansion of trust boundaries by the cloud consumer to include the external cloud. It can be difficult to establish a security architecture that spans such a trust boundary without introducing vulnerabilities, unless cloud consumers and cloud providers happen to support the same or compatible security frameworks—which is unlikely with public clouds.

Another consequence of overlapping trust boundaries relates to the cloud provider's privileged access to cloud consumer data. The extent to which the data is secure is now limited to the security controls and policies applied by both the cloud consumer and cloud provider. Furthermore, there can be overlapping trust boundaries from different cloud consumers due to the fact that cloud-based IT resources are commonly shared.

The overlapping of trust boundaries and the increased exposure of data can provide malicious cloud consumers (human and automated) with greater opportunities to attack IT resources and steal or damage business data. Figure 1 illustrates a scenario whereby two organizations accessing the same cloud service are required to extend their respective trust boundaries to the cloud, resulting in overlapping trust bound-aries. It can be challenging for the cloud provider to offer security mechanisms that accommodate the security requirements of both cloud service consumers.