Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
News
3/27/2012
12:49 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

New Tool Vets Cloud Provider Security

Cloud Security Alliance registry allows customers to compare the security measures of participating service providers.

A major step in selecting a good cloud provider is researching and comparing the security measures that each provider uses to keep its customers' data safe.

Today, conducting due diligence requires contacting each potential provider to gain access to independent audits and security assessments, possibly requiring the signing of a nondisclosure agreement. The process can be onerous: A company considering a handful of cloud vendors has to request the security information from each, translate their internal documents into a common language, and then compare the security specifications.

"They will look at six different companies, and they will get different controls, different issues that have been identified," says Jon Heimerl, director of strategy for Solutionary, a managed security services provider. "There will be a lot in common, obviously, but things are phrased differently and built differently between all those companies."

To tame the confusion, the Cloud Security Alliance launched the Security, Trust, and Assurance Registry (STAR) to give potential cloud customers a central database from which they can compare providers' security assertions. Participating providers submit their answers to a self-assessment questionnaire, attesting to the security controls and monitoring that they have put in place to protect customer data.

While only four providers, including Solutionary and Microsoft Office 365, have submitted self-assessments to date, a much larger number are currently working through the documents, according to the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA).

"It should create a little bit more competition to make security part of the differentiation between services," says Jim Reavis, founder and executive director of the CSA. "I think by the end of this year, we will have a very complete set of providers on the site."

Using the service gives customers a way to compare providers' security rather than requesting an audit. Last year, a Ponemon Institute study found that 69% of providers placed the responsibility for security with their customers, while only 35% of customers believed they needed to worry about data security. Yet most cloud service providers will not allow most clients to audit their security because they cannot accommodate a large number of such requests.

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

The pay-as-you go nature of the cloud makes ROI calculation seem easy. It’s not. Also in the new, all-digital Cloud Calculations InformationWeek supplement: Why infrastructure-as-a-service is a bad deal. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.