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How do you measure trust in cloud services?

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  • Know your data! Investigate any possible sensitive data that could require special treatment.
  • Ask your local information security officer about policies for third party services.

 

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The IT mantra for the past few years has been all about the cloud, and the myriad benefits of cloud-based servers and storage. While there are some advantages, there are also some serious drawbacks that you should consider carefully before entrusting your valuable and sensitive data to the cloud.

"Is it safe to trust the cloud? I've heard over and over again about how the benefits of "the cloud." I'm worried though that if I store all my data on someone else's servers, it won't be secure. Or even worse, the government will have access to it. Can I trust the cloud?"

Cloud services are becoming more necessity than option, these days. As small businesses acquire more data, they need the power of the cloud just to function. 
But trusting a third-party with private data is a scary idea for small business owners new to the concept of the cloud. Just like any other business, the cloud has some shady vendors, but that doesn’t mean the business has to fall victim to a bad one. Reputable, well-known cloud hosts offer the security and convenience to take care of data and properly move it to the host’s data centers. In fact, a move to the cloud can increase security.

 

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  • Data Protection in the cloud - are we fooling ourselves?

 

Read

  • Paquette, Scott, Paul T. Jaeger, and Susan C. Wilson. 2010. “Identifying the Security Risks Associated with Governmental Use of Cloud Computing.” Government Information Quarterly 27 (3) (July): 245–253. doi:10.1016/j.giq.2010.01.002.

Cloud computing, which refers to an emerging computing model where machines in large data centers can be used to deliver services in a scalable manner, has become popular for corporations in need of inexpensive, large scale computing. Recently, the United States government has begun to utilize cloud computing architectures, platforms, and applications to deliver services and meet the needs of their constituents. Surrounding the use of cloud computing are many risks that can have major impacts on the information and services supported by this technology. This paper discusses the current use of cloud computing in government, and the risks–tangible and intangible–associated with its use. Examining specific cases of government cloud computing, this paper explores the level of understanding of the risks by the departments and agencies that implement this technology. This paper argues that a defined risk management program focused on cloud computing is an essential part of the government IT environment.

 

  • Khan, Khaled M., and Qutaibah Malluhi. 2010. “Establishing Trust in Cloud Computing.” IT Professional 12 (5) (September): 20–27. doi:10.1109/MITP.2010.128.

The paper discussed the emerging technologies that can help address the challenges of trust in cloud computing. Cloud computing provides many opportunities for enterprises by offering a range of computing services. In today's competitive environment, the service dynamism, elasticity, and choices offered by this highly scalable technology are too attractive for enterprises to ignore. These opportunities, however, don't come without challenges. Cloud computing has opened up a new frontier of challenges by introducing a different type of trust scenario. Today, the problem of trusting cloud computing is a paramount concern for most enterprises. It's not that the enterprises don't trust the cloud providers' intentions; rather, they question cloud computing's capabilities.

  • Pearson, Siani. 2012. Privacy and Security for Cloud Computing. New York: Springer.

Cloud computing refers to the underlying infrastructure for an emerging model of service provision that has the advantage of reducing cost by sharing computing and storage resources, combined with an on-demand provisioning mechanism relying on a pay-per-use business model. These new features have a direct impact on information technology (IT) budgeting but also affect traditional security, trust and privacy mechanisms. The advantages of cloud computing—its ability to scale rapidly, store data remotely and share services in a dynamic environment— can become disadvantages in maintaining a level of assurance suf fi cient to sustain con fi dence in potential customers. Some core traditional mechanisms for addressing privacy (such as model contracts) are no longer fl exible or dynamic enough, so new approaches need to be developed to fi t this new paradigm. In this chapter, we assess how security, trust and privacy issues occur in the context of cloud computing and discuss ways in which they may be addressed.

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