a central point for collection of information as it relates to cloud computing in the government
Cloud Computing Risk Assessment
November 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm #85837
From European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)
ENISA, supported by a group of subject matter expert comprising representatives from Industries, Academia and Governmental Organizations, has conducted, in the context of the Emerging and Future Risk Framework project, an risks assessment on cloud computing business model and technologies. The result is an in-depth and independent analysis that outlines some of the information security benefits and key security risks of cloud computing. The report provide also a set of practical recommendations.
Publication date: Nov 20, 2009
November 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm #85840
Related “news story”
Beware business cloud dangers, says EU agency
Tom Espiner ZDNet UK
Published: 20 Nov 2009 16:46 GMT
Businesses should exercise caution when procuring cloud services, according to the European agency charged with promoting IT security good practice.
The European Network and Information Security Agency (Enisa) on Friday published advice and a checklist for organisations thinking of jumping into the cloud, outlining the benefits and risks of using online service provision.
Primarily, organisations should beware of lock-in to cloud services, Enisa told ZDNet UK on Friday. “There is very little in the way of tools and standards for exporting data from one provider to another,” said Enisa network security expert Giles Hogben. “That’s one of the biggest risks.”
Enisa risk management expert Daniele Catteddu told ZDNet UK that governance issues were also a major risk. “There are client code issues like patching, security testing, and policy enforcement,” he said.
The Enisa experts also pointed to the dangers of ‘isolation failure’ where access control or bandwidth provision are inadequate.
Cattedu said legal and contractual issues are another risk, including data-protection compliance. “Under data-protection law, the cloud customer is the data controller,” said Catteddu. “One of the [cloud customer’s] duties is to ensure that data is managed in a proper way.”
Both experts recommended businesses closely study liability limitations in a contract, and negotiate contracts to reduce the chance of vendor lock-in. “It may be a market differentiator that a provider is offering to share the cost of a migration [to another vendor],” said Catteddu.
The Enisa experts also highlighted several benefits of cloud computing. For smaller businesses, cloud services run by larger organisations may offer more security, as smaller businesses may not have the resources or expertise to adequately defend their networks.
In addition, cloud services can scale to mitigate the effects of denial-of-service attacks, said Hogben.
The checklist published on Friday will evolve into an assurance framework for cloud providers within a year, said the experts. Providers will be able to use this framework to be certified in a similar way to a kitemark, or guarantee of quality, said Hogben.
Cloud services are becoming increasingly sophisticated. For example, on Thursday Google said its Chrome operating system will run applications only in its browser, and store all data in the cloud.
Copyright © 2009 CBS Interactive Limited.
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