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Cloud Security via Proxy:
Advantages and Disadvantages

Cloud Security via Proxy

The term cloud refers to delivering or accessing computing systems through the internet. Cloud security is the protection of digital assets stored or accessed via the cloud from theft, unauthorized alteration, or any other malicious activity. 

Various methods can help to improve cloud security. Some of the methods used for cloud security are information obfuscation, use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), data encryption, etc. Over the years, the use of proxies has also come up as a cloud security method.

A proxy acts as an intermediary between a computer user and the internet at large. By acting as an intermediary between users and the internet, proxy servers offer cloud security by masking a user’s IP address.

The use of free proxy servers for cloud security has been adopted for home use and office use too. The rampant adoption is attributed to the efficiency of proxy servers in offering internet security. 

The use of proxies for cloud security offers numerous advantages. However, it also has its drawbacks. In this article, we look at the advantages and disadvantages of using a proxy for cloud security.

Advantages of Using Proxies for Cloud Security

Downtime

The use of proxy servers to improve cloud security offers reliable security to the user. This is due to the deployment of proxy servers on the internet. With everything being stored on the internet, this reduces the amount of downtime for any repairs or upgrades. 

If, for instance, an actual physical server was being used, any time that the server would be switched off would be downtime to the users. The use of cloud-deployed security methods to improve cloud security offers remarkable reliability.

Many users seek to use proxies for cloud security due to this reliability. For users seeking security using proxies, they can opt to go for paid or free proxies. Free proxies offer the same features as paid proxies. The difference between these two is that free proxies often include bandwidth limits or device number limits. This is a factor that you should keep in mind when going through the free proxy server list.

Website Restriction

Proxy servers also implement access restrictions to blacklisted websites. This feature can be implemented when using proxies for either home or office use. Proxy servers can be configured to automatically restrict access to websites that are easily susceptible to cyber-attacks.

The users can also create custom lists of blocked websites and web applications that can pose a danger to the computing system. This tool is often used by businesses. It helps to ensure that employees do not access sites that pose cloud security threats to their systems. 

Encryption of Web Requests

Proxy services can also offer encryption of web requests as a service. Encryption is the process of transforming data or information into a manner that can be understood by the sender and receiver only. Encryption converts sent data into a format that does not make sense. Upon receiving, the receiver uses the decryption key to convert the scribbled data with no meaning back to its initial state.

Some companies that offer proxy services include data encryption as part of the features of their proxy. Encryption helps ensure that if data leaks, it remains confidential because the cybercriminal will not have the decryption key.

Encryption capability should be a paramount factor to consider when choosing a proxy to use for your cloud security. 

That said, some free proxies may not offer encryption, so watch out for this when searching for a free proxy servers list. 

Malware Protection

Cloud Security via Proxy

The internet poses a wide array of possible risks for its uses. A risk that has become more frequent is the deployment of malicious software to computers via websites. Malicious websites are programmed to deploy malicious software or malware to computers when users visit the website.

When using a proxy, any malicious software targeted to your computer system will be directed to the proxy server. In such a case, the proxy will be acting as a shield and taking all malware. This will help to ensure that your computer system stays safe and uncompromised.

Fast Browsing

Proxies compress internet data. They also store user information that is used many times in the cache memory. Storing user data in cache helps to improve loading speeds when browsing. Proxies also block ads when loading websites that have ads. All these features offered by proxies help free up internet bandwidth. By freeing up internet bandwidth, they improve browsing speeds.

Disadvantages of Using Proxies for Cloud Security

User Tracking

As discussed, proxy services use cache memory to store information that users frequently need when using the service. Data storage in cache helps improve speeds. However, storing user data in cache memory by proxies poses a risk.

The data stored in the cache memory cannot be accessed by malicious people on the internet. It can, however, get accessed by personnel working in the company that is offering the proxy service. If the work personnel have any malicious intent, they can misuse the data causing dire consequences.

Online Visibility

A key aspect of internet security is confidentiality. The use of proxies gives the users privacy on the internet by hiding their IP addresses. However, proxies lack when it comes to hiding the fact that an internet user is using a proxy.

When an internet user is using a VPN to mask their IP address and in turn, their identity, a malicious person or site cannot know that the user is using a VPN. With proxies, however, things are different. Some proxies – especially free proxy servers – can expose the fact that a user is masking their IP address by using their server as an intermediary. 

Compatibility

The use of proxy servers to improve cloud security can pose one major challenge, especially for non-technical users. As you go through the free proxy lists, this is something that you should keep in mind.

Finding a comprehensive list of free proxy servers that states the compatible networks for the proxy servers will help. However, if you do not find the list, you should seek advice from your internet service provider (ISP). Your ISP will recommend proxy servers that are compatible with the network.

If you encounter an incompatible proxy, it is possible to configure it for your network. However, the configuration process is highly technical, therefore, it should be done by a professional.

Conclusion

In the quest to seek anonymity and confidentiality on the internet, remember that proxy servers can view your data. The encryption offered by the proxy server is when transmitting data between the internet and itself.

The proxy, therefore, decrypts all your data then relays it back to you. You should, therefore, carry out your due diligence before choosing a proxy service provider. A proxy service provider who has malicious intent can access your data and misuse it. 

When doing your due diligence, look into how the proxy service provider stores and handles the data they handle. This will help you get a clear picture of the company’s security measures.

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