Conference highlights importance of cloud security

March 22, 2012

As more businesses and government organizations continue to transfer critical data, applications and infrastructure to the cloud, some IT professionals and executives are facing several obstacles to successful cloud implementation. Although similar impediments may have discouraged decision makers from adopting other technologies in the past, that cloud's ability to decrease costs and boost productivity has become too valuable to ignore.

A recent InformationWeek report examined three major security themes that industry professionals discussed at the Black Hat Europe conference, held from March 14-16 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Among the top security themes reviewed at the conference was cloud security, specifically how it's vital for organizations to keep concerns in perspective to realize the full benefits of the cloud.

According to the report, businesses shouldn't avoid the cloud simply because it contains a few perceived security issues, especially considering most IT experts say the cloud provides ample security and can even protect private data better than traditional computing environments. Furthermore, cloud architecture is far from perfect, but organizations can reduce risk and eliminate vulnerabilities by extensively planning for the cloud and developing a comprehensive security strategy.

"The inherent problem with cloud is it's a moving target," Felix Linder, head of Recurity Labs in Berlin, Germany, told the news source. "We worked on privilege separation in the operating systems for years and years - don't work as root, and stuff like that. But the cloud does it, and sometimes there's just one account, or password."

Linder's explanation highlights the importance of using an advanced security system for cloud environments, one that includes the ability to effectively control access and monitor email, web and authentication traffic between the business and the cloud. According to most experts, the cost saving advantages of the cloud will continue to outweigh most enterprises' security concerns, leading to greater cloud industry growth in the next few years.

-McAfee Cloud Security