Cloud computing gives the jitters to those charged with protecting their organization's IT assets. To gauge the concerns of security professionals about cloud computing, we're fielding a global survey covering all industries. We want to know your views.
"Accountability for security and privacy in public cloud deployments cannot be delegated to a cloud provider and remains an obligation for the organization to fulfill," NIST Computer Scientist Tim Grance says.
Heavily regulated industries like banking and healthcare have been reluctant to make the virtualized leap to the cloud, fearing a loss of control could open them to unforeseen risk. Are their concerns unfounded?
The Department of Homeland Security is undertaking nine private and three public cloud computing initiatives, establishing private cloud services to manage sensitive but unclassified information while using the public cloud for non-sensitive data.
"It should provide fuel for anyone calling for data breach legislation to include criminal sanctions ...," says Neal O'Farrell of the Identity Theft Council. "This was nothing short of a clumsy cover-up."
Ineffective or noncompliant security practices of service providers, the inability of customers to examine controls, the prospect of data leakage and the loss of data if a cloud service is terminated present challenges.
"With a company-issued device, you can issue a policy that says users have no rights of privacy over information on the device," says Javelin's Tom Wills. But with employee-owned devices? A whole new set of issues.
The Department of Homeland Security becomes the first federal agency to award a task order using a General Services Administration's blanket purchase agreement for an infrastructure-as-a-service, cloud-computing offering, says GSA Assistant Commissioner Mary Davie.
Information security poses a major challenge to the widespread adoption of cloud computing, yet the Cloud Security Alliance, an association of cloud stakeholders, sees the cloud as a provider of information security services.