Let’s get started then! At CW we try to keep ourselves abreast of latest developments in cloud ecosystem so that we are in the best possible position to offer an outstanding service to our customers. In this light I have been attending these days the SecureCloud 2012 conference in Frankfurt. SecureCloud is the most important cloud security event in Europe, gathering a selected group of international speakers that review latest trends and developments in the cloud. This year, people from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, CA, RSA, VMWare… were presenting.
Trust was identified as biggest cloud adoption limiting factor and trustworthiness as the best way to overcome it. And what is the difference betwen those two? Trust is something that you give based on subjective factors (the look of a person, what you have heard of him/her, your past experiences with him/her…) on the other side, trustworthiness can be measured (checking his/her CV, looking police records, hiring someone to screen his/her…). In cloud, trustworthiness will be gained with certifications that cloud services should have. Issue is that more than 300!!!! different standards are currently under development. All cloud providers agreed that challenge for 2013 is to reduce this number to ONE, that would make their lives and that of their users much, much easier.
Another hot topic was encryption as the best possible way to protect your information while in transit and at rest in cloud provider premises. Lot was said about Fully Homomorphic encryption, the Holy Grail of cloud security. With it, end users could potentially encrypt data on their systems, send it ENCRYPTED to the cloud, process the encrypted data in the cloud, get back encrypted result data and finally unencrypting it to get the result. This way cloud providers would NEVER see any clear text data, perfect!!! Nice uhhh? Sorry, you may have to wait some 10 years for this! (at least for the chat I had with Anirban Basu, a researcher at the Tokai university). Meanwhile, new systems are being develop that although not so ideal will have to fill the gap.
Finally, transparency and cloud lock-in feeling were mentioned as additional show-stoppers. In both areas common efforts are done to come up with industry wide standards that can fulfill user needs and offer better insight into cloud provider operations and easiness to move from one to another. Seems a challenging goal in such a competitive environment but at least intention seems to be there!
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