Security and Cloud Computing Trends…Not everyone wants in
October 15, 2010
I recently touched very briefly on the importance of thinking about security issues when moving to a cloud based model (here).
That being said, because security is extremely important to all businesses and these same businesses are spending massive amounts of money on their infrastructure investments, I thought I would revisit the topic. Cloud computing has a lot to prove before winning over the IT environment ecosystem– management teams at companies of all sizes, especially fortune 1000 companies, must be cognizant of compliance and security issues when they port user information to the cloud. Questions about where data is shared, both geographically as well within servers (sometimes data is shared on the same server with other company’s information) remain high priority and often poorly or not answered — which is disappointing given the technology market trends and the amount of venture funding top venture capital firms invest in this space.
Google product marketing manager Adam Swidler acknowledged there has been some secrecy concerning where things are located because “we think it’s a security risk” — which doesn’t make administrators necessarily feel any more at ease.
Organizations working with sensitive client data are unlikely to move any or all of their data to the cloud until there is more transparency concerning where and how data is stored. Nir Zuk from Palo Alto Networks spoke to Network World in a recent article here: He addresses two of the main cloud players and how they deal with transparency. “Although Amazon and Rackspace may significantly cut your cost,” said Zuk, “it’s like taking your head and putting it in the sand because among the major challenges there, you really don’t know what security these companies are running.” He added, “you also are not likely to know your neighbors on the machine.”
Businesses and their clients should know where their sensitive data is at all times, no questions asked. When asked about security issues, 9 out of 10 of these IT executives polled said they believed confidential data is more secure in private-cloud systems than in public ones. This is unacceptable.
Cloud computing secrecy is covered in more detail here