Virus Removal via Cloud Computing: Explained

Like most people, you may wish for a simpler way to keep your PC protected from the evildoers and criminals who lurk in the shadows of the Internets. It seems like all one can do to keep up with the constant updated by the vendors like Microsoft and Adobe. We love the elegance of the MS Office Suite, Flash and PDF Reader, but the volume of patches that we receive from these vendors are filling up our hard drives and driving our online lives to distraction.

We hate waiting for the scan to complete to get on with our living or being slowed to a crawl while the virus scan searches our computers for malicious software signatures that are the tell-tale indications of infections or invasions.

Can Cloud Computing Help?

The term ‘Cloud virus removal’ assumes that the malware gained access to your system after you elected to participate in a cloud community or networked environment. One would think that if the cloud computing vendor is incapable of protecting themselves, what help could they possibly offer others? That would be a sensible conclusion if the circumstance of the events applied in the chronology described.

Typically, the agenda of events is quite the opposite and the new member of the cloud community may bring a host of ailments with them to the cloud computing services vendors’ virus removal applications. If this is a description of your predicament, there is hope for relief in the clouds.

Relief in the Clouds

Anti-Virus and virus removal in the cloud computing environment is performed in one of three (3) strategies… ‘Agent’ based, ‘Agentless,’ or a combination of those two security concepts. An ‘Agent’ is a lighter version of the anti-virus application that you typically purchase and install on your PC to protect you against nasty surprises. ‘Agentless’ security works with virtual machine configurations where your entire computing experience is actually hosted on a remote back office server, then presented to you through a isolated connection that is monitored by the back office infrastructure. The combination of agent and Agentless security addresses the variables connectivity aspects of affiliation and association in a cloud computing community.

Agent security is currently offered as a premium service by vendors of anti-virus applications. This product and associated services differs from the platform based offerings from the same vendors in the fact that it is generally a commercial grade of application offered to large organizations that are looking to reduce their expense of maintaining a community of employees and the associated fleet of computers, smartphones and PDA devices issued to them. The agent is administered by the corporation’s network administrators so as to retain the optimal control of the corporation’s security environment.

Agentless security cedes the control of the anti-virus aspects of a company’s information technology efforts to the expertise of the vendors so employed. The cloud is used to provide the host environment for the users’ individual productivity sessions and the responsibility for the maintenance of this environment is passed to the Cloud Computing Services vendor.

The combination of security concepts addresses the fact that the relationship between companies, their vendors\suppliers and customers is moving to the clouds and not all of the parties are equally prepared to indemnify each others’ security environments. Indemnification in the security world is the act of providing somebody with protection, especially financial protection, against possible loss, damage, or liability as a result of one’s negligence, abuse or intent. This kind of collaboration between various commercial interests could not occur without the cloud computing facilitations.

The Benefits of Looking Up

Cloud virus removal works proactively to exclude malevolent code before a platform is allowed access to a community of users connected within a cloud. Where the user is not a member of the community of users that typically make up a company’s authenticated logons, the combination security implementation works to track the deployed agents request for support in regards to a given associate or affiliate’s individual computing environment. This allows the user to retain control of their PC, but segregates the virtual session that the user may be presented with from that potentially degraded local environment.

Technology in the information age is a term that has wide implications. Focusing attention on the problem with viruses or malicious software can lead to a lot of history which could get really confusing. There are many terms to define and concept to differentiate. This article proposes to simplify one aspect of virus removal using the tools that can be found offered by cloud computing services.

The K.I.S.S.’s of Computing Death

The first thing that you should know about virus removal is how the viruses got into your information infrastructure in the first place. There are many opportunities for malicious if not criminal intrusions that should be denied to make your computing environment safer. To help you understand how cloud virus removal will work for the average user, we offer the five most common issues you are likely to encounter along with what you should consider to protect your self from the kisses of computing death.

1. URL Redirects / Popups – generally occur when you visit a website that has been encoded to generate new browser windows that popup without your permission. Depending on the construction of the code, you may or may not be able to dismiss the popup window.

You may use the browser controls in Internet Explore v.11+, Chrome v.70+ or most other current browser applications to defeat popup / URL redirects. If you encounter popup windows while in a cloud computing session, contact the administrators of the network to which you are attached.

2. Spam – is a method of taking advantage of email to advertise products and services or publish unsolicited information. Email (electronic mail), like it’s physical counterpart postal mail is normally delivered between two parties who are familiar with each other, have a relationship of some sort, or as a means of solicitation. Spam simply tries to overwhelm the receiver with messages.

To effectively control Spam one should consider acquiring an antivirus application that has been developed to integrate with their web browser settings to prevent known Spam originators email messages from being allowed to be presented by the browser. In a cloud computing environment, this application may be supplied by the network to which you are connected. If not, the responsibility rest with the owner of the console / PC on which the Spam is being displayed.

3. Trojans – Much as the name suggest, a Trojan is a dangerous piece of code that is employed to deceive you into being cooperative in the destruction of your computing experience. The Trojan deception appears as a beneficial application that you may desire to use, but the secret agenda of the developer may be to steal information such as your identity and financial services access authorizations.

Certain aspects of most Trojan code construction can be detected by the available commercially developed Anti-Virus applications. Those organizations maintain professional information technology staff that researches and updates their anti-malware offering so as to constantly address changes that the criminal element may make to its Trojans when the malicious code is detected. A cloud computing environment is not immune from Trojan attack because the operator of the console / PC who authorizes unauthenticated applications opens the door and allows the Trojan to gain access to their computing environment. The only real protection against this form of invasive computing is to learn how to discover the roots of the offer’s origins. We will provide you with more detail about this technique later in this article.

4. Denial of Service Attacks – A DoS Attack usually isn’t a direct assault against the typical PC user, but rather an effort to disable or so cripple the behind the scenes infrastructure that services the individual users as to deny any useful benefits to the community. The assault on the behind the scenes servers and switches often employs unwitting users as duped accomplices in a massively coordinated messaging strategy. All of the duped consoles send messages to a targeted victims back office infrastructure and overwhelm its ability to respond, thus denying those services to legitimate subscribers or members.

The key term here is service, which is the sum total of all the tasks that occur on all the servers that you don’t see represented on your screen when you access a website or send/receive an email. The cloud computing community may be the best industry response to DoS attacks because the industrial strength anti-malware code necessary to thwart a DoS attack would not fit on the hard drive of the typical PC or notebook computer. The goal is to disallow the DoS to add your PC to the pool of participating dupes.

5. Phishing – There is no battle for control of unprotected personal computers. The term “Phishing” accurately describes the ‘locate and harvest’ methodology criminals use to steal the identities and financial service access information over the Internet. Phishing is a derivative of Spam because it employs the tactic of send large numbers of mail merge personally addressed unsolicited email or Instant Messenger messages. Those applications are used to present a counterfeited document of website representation of a trustworthy business concern or governmental authority. That is the bait. The hook is in the request for information that no authentic business or authority would request over the Internet. Phishing scammers use this Trojan-like tactic to deceive the recipient into voluntarily providing the criminals with sensitive personal information such as financial services access, or government mandated identifications.

Cloud computing can’t offer a lot of protection from predators who fish for the gullible persons who use an unprotected PC platforms. The protection that may be offered by a Cloud Computing Services Vendor will likely only deny the legitimate user the ability to complete the transaction easily. However, the determined fool can’t be denied their tragedy. Phishing isn’t really a virus that can be detected by its aberrant code signature, so the real solution is an application of common sense wherein one doesn’t acknowledge or accept communications from strangers offering gifts of dubious origins.

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