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Andreas Åsander, Clavister: Businesses have their heads in the cloud

May 2009 by Andreas Åsander, VP product management at Clavister

Cloud computing has the potential to be one of the biggest trends in IT due to the convenience of a single provider delivering a variety of IT enabled resources as a service over the Internet. However, many businesses have unnecessary concerns surrounding security and privacy in the cloud according to network security experts Clavister.

Andreas Åsander, VP product management at Clavister explains: “Cloud computing is simple; at the front end are the client computers and the application required to access the cloud computing system. At the back end are the various computers, servers and data storage systems that create the ‘cloud’ of computing services.

“Because these resources are provided ‘as a service’, the idea is that users need not have any knowledge or expertise in the systems that support them, or indeed any control over those systems. They just need to have confidence in the ability to send data to the cloud and to receive data back.”

Industry experts have claimed that in five years, cloud technology will have a footprint in every business that has IT, changing the entire computer industry.

Åsander continues: “However, many businesses have grave concerns over the privacy and security of their data and the idea of handing over important company information to another organization worries them. They are hesitant to take advantage of cloud computing because they believe they can no longer keep their data under lock and key.”

Of course there are specific security issues businesses must consider when adopting cloud computing, including maintaining control over security policy of applications and services, that customer service level agreements can be met and that compliance with data security rules and regulations are maintained.

Clavister recommends that businesses take the following steps to ensure adequate protection in the cloud:

· It is essential to replicate their normal security policies inside the cloud and ensure that they can maintain control of them via visibility of logs and compliance reporting and such like

· Check business continuity and disaster recovery arrangements

· Check that the virtualization platform used by the cloud computing provider enables you to import and export data freely

· It is important to get advise from an independent security specialist so that nothing is left to chance

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