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Editor’s Note: Securing the Cloud

Lafe Low

One of the greatest concerns IT managers voice over moving to cloud computing is security. How secure will my data be when stored in the cloud? How secure is the data in transit? Those are indeed valid questions and concerns. While technology vendors and cloud computing service providers have gone considerable distances to protect data and assuage any customer worries, data security remains the prevailing concern.

If your organization is considering a move to the cloud for data storage, application hosting or a complete infrastructure refresh, ask the right questions and get satisfactory answers. You need to know where the data is hosted, how you get your data returned in the event of a disaster (either technological or your provider going out of business), how is access controlled, and who is ultimately responsible for compliance and data integrity. That’s the very minimum. A move to cloud computing is one in which doing your homework and due diligence is an absolute necessity.

Will any cloud computing situation ever be completely secure? No—and neither will any other data facility. Some of the security risks are the same and some are different, but they’re always present to one degree or another. Much like any other data security situation, the more important the data, the more effort and resources should go into its protection. IDC research analyst David Bradshaw says essentially the same thing: “The richer the pot of data, the more cloud service providers need to do to protect it.”

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Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine. Contact him at  llow@1105media.com.