Key practices for secure adoption of cloud computing

The information security industry is taking on the task of providing guidance to enable secure Cloud Computing with today’s formal launch of the Cloud Security Alliance. The Cloud Security Alliance’s inaugural whitepaper, “Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing”, is now available here, and a presentation of the findings will be made at the RSA conference today.

The Cloud Security Alliance is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, and to provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing. The founding thought leaders behind the formation of the Cloud Security Alliance are leading security practitioners from a range of private and public organizations and leading security companies PGP Corporation, Qualys and Zscaler.

The whitepaper being presented at RSA, “Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing”, outlines key issues and provides advice for both Cloud Computing customers and providers within 15 strategic domains.

According to Alliance co-founders Nils Puhlmann and Jim Reavis, the several months of collaboration was worth the effort, “We would like to thank the many contributors to this initial effort. The great diversity of services offered via cloud computing requires careful analysis to understand the risks and mitigation appropriate in each case.

At the same time, we see enormous potential for the cloud model to eventually simplify many difficult security problems. This initial deliverable is just the beginning of our efforts, and we would like to extend an open invitation to industry experts to help us create additional best practices for practitioners and the industry.”

The Cloud Security Alliance is building its guidance by engaging with experts from a variety of backgrounds to reflect the many organizational participants that will be involved in cloud computing decisions.

Joshua Davis, Director of Information Security & Compliance at Qualcomm and a member of the Cloud Security Alliance, sees this collaboration as timely. “The information risk management factors one must consider when leveraging cloud computing, especially legal and regulatory compliance issues, represent unchartered territory for many enterprises. The Cloud Security Alliance is bringing together information security and legal experts, along with many other domains of knowledge, to see these issues from every stakeholder’s point of view.”

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