March 2, 2012
Cloud computing is rapidly growing as a solution for data storage and backup, application hosting and other conventional enterprise IT functions, but the industry's future success depends on its ability to improve security, experts at the recent RSA Conference in San Francisco said.
According to a SC Magazine report, a panel of security experts gathered for a conference session titled "CISCs Check the Weather: Beyond the Hype of Cloud Security." The panel included chief information security officers of several major companies, including Bank of America, Sallie Mae and eBay.
The session, which was moderated by Cloud Security Alliance executive director Jim Reavis, examined the benefits of cloud computing and its potential security risks. Despite many IT decision-makers and business leaders having concerns regarding the security of cloud environments, most enterprises are still adopting the technology to gain its proven cost benefits and efficiency advantages, the panel agreed. Jerry Archer, CISO at Sallie Mae, said a recent survey revealed the cloud can reduce IT costs as much as 85 percent, a number most businesses can't ignore.
"This evolution will be unlike anything we've ever seen," Archer said of the rapid migration of enterprise data, infrastructure and applications to the cloud, as reported by the news source.
However, the panel also warned of security challenges in the cloud, although these obstacles can usually be mitigated through detailed planning, organizational protocols and security provisions in service level agreements with cloud providers. Still, there are ways the cloud can actually improve IT security, as the experts said service providers can deploy security and data protection resources through a cloud-based model, decreasing costs and risk.
Many businesses are implementing security solutions that protect critical data across multiple clouds, remote locations and mobile devices. With cloud security concerns eliminated, companies can focus on realizing the full cost-saving and efficiency benefits of working in cloud environments, experts say.
-McAfee Cloud Security