Q

Given outages, are you concerned with the security of the cloud?

Service provider outages should be a warning to customers that keeping data safe in the cloud is a shared responsibility.

Recent and past cloud and service provider outages should be both a reminder and a wakeup call not to take availability, access, durability or security in the cloud for granted. Cloud security and availability are a shared responsibility, meaning the service provider needs to take care of their part and the customer must implement best practices as well. Don't be scared or fly blind, but rather be prepared.

Some cloud service providers, cloud products and cloud technologies are safer than others. They are more resilient and are evolving or maturing better than others.

Here’s the thing: There's a shared responsibility when it comes to putting your data into a cloud or any technology for that matter. In other words, you have to take some responsibility of leveraging what that service provider is doing.

You should have multiple copies at the service provider level (or the technology level), just as you would any other provider of goods, services or products in your environment.

Also look at the provider's history of security in the cloud. How have they handled incidents? Do they learn from them? Do they make their services better? Are they transparent? When you look at the big players -- Amazon, Google and others -- when they have an incident, they tend to fix it, but they also have postmortems.

What all this means is that your cloud should be no less secure than your own traditional environment, and that your own traditional environment should be as secure, if not more so, than what you have in the cloud.

Next Steps

Best practices for cloud security key access

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This was first published in August 2014

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Do you think cloud security is a shared responsibility between the provider and user?

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