Security Advisor

Enterprises Have Cloud Trust Issues

According to a recent poll, cloud security still isn't up to the level to handle the data of many enterprises.

Many of the top enterprises are still unwilling to dip their toes into the cloud pool, and (surprise) the No. 1 reason is security.

It's a scary notion of handing all your data over to a third party without any certainty that you will be able to access it when you want to (or that other will never be able to access it).

"Our requirements are very clear: Cloud providers have to be able to deliver at least equivalent to enterprise IT security," said Deutsche Bank AG Chief Scientist Andrew Stokes, "Without that, we can't even start. That's a critical requirement."

The one thing that enterprise IT security delivers that the cloud is missing is transparency. Enterprises contemplating making that leap to the cloud want to know exactly how the provider will secure the data and, if there is an issue, how the company will react to make sure it is safe.

The problem is that the technology is still relatively new, and with so many companies rushing to cash in on the cloud trend, there may not be the battle-tested security protocol in place that enterprise security has.

But, if you remember, enterprise security didn't exactly show up on the day PCs started to appear in the workplace. It's gone through years of growing pains (and it still could be better), something the cloud is also going to have to go through.

And with the advent of organizations like the Cloud Security Alliance, offering a public cloud that comes with ease of mind and an air-tight comprehensive security plan may be just around the corner.

How would you rate the current level of security with public clouds? Let me know at cpaoli@1105media.com or in the comments below.

Also, if you can't get enough of that hot cloud talk, check out this month's issue of Redmond magazine.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 Bruce Boyce

If I give my money to a bank, they are liable if its lost. If a cloud provider allows my data to be compromised, there is nothing left but ensuring the lawyers get paid to control the legal damage . The horses have already left the barn so why risk it?

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 Ken McAvoy Melbourne , Victoria , Australia

It is not just exclusively security that makes people wary of cloud computing. Most cloud business models are based around services that involve long term contracts and significant new costs that are not as easily controlled or managed from internally as having your own IT Department. Also cloud service providers are relying on winning a large percentage of market share so your business is not necessarily going to be priority number one. If a cloud computing server goes down and your business model is impacted - it's your business that feels the brunt of any fallout globally not the cloud service provider . History tends to show that big is not necessarily beautiful or more affordable either and once you have surrendered control of technology to a 3rd party it's not always easy to get it back , change your mind and then ramp up an internal IT Group overnight or even change to another service provider because each site has its own unique peculiarities and often local knowledge is a key ingredient which of coiurse after several years in the cloud you no longer have. No-one knows enough about the 3rd party provider either who could be a competitor in disguise looking to milk your database (it's undeniable these practices are common place) and why should a 3rd party profit from secretly on selling your data when you could profit from it directly or keep it in house. There are so many un-resolved questions and answers that only companies with a 100% love of risk versus reward will readily embrace cloud computing or companies fed up with running inefficient and expensive to maintain internal IT Divisions. Nevertheless when you decide to move to the cloud expect it to cost double what you are paying now for slower results and less flexibility to quickly change.

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