Cloud Computing Security Concerns

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-11-03 Print this article Print

Security will always be a concern for application services and storage deployed in the cloud, most panelists agreed.

"Perception is absolute reality, and the perception is that security is still an obstacle, and we cannot deny it," CTO Irfan Kahn of Sybase said. "Most of these situations arise from internal understanding of the context of your own data, and that if you offset it to a hosted environment, the chances are that they could really care less about your information.

"I would say that this [good security features] need to be talked up more, and talked up to a point that people don't see it as such an up-front barrier [to investing in a cloud system]."

You can never talk too much about security, Lynn said.

"In fact, people are very nervous about clouds and giving up security, but I would claim that cloud computing will add a lot of security," Lynn said. "Think about applications becoming portable; you can move them at will. You can always move them to a place that's more physically secure. You can turn sitting ducks into moving targets."

This debate has been going on a long time, Lynn said.

"I've been around a long time-39 years in IT-and I remember when people said, 'A computing cycle on a workstation is 2 percent of the cost of a mainframe, but we'll never put mission-critical stuff there,' and now 70 percent of Fortune 500 computing cycles are on workstations and servers.

"I also remember when people said, 'Oh, that Internet thing is cool, but we'll never run a financial transaction on it!'  Need I say more?"

Cloud computing is the next big paradigm shift in IT, Lynn said, "and security's not going to stop it."


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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