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Wednesday, 11 May 2011 16:28

Rising tide of red tape occludes cloud

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Enterprises are grappling with 40,000 different regulations concerning data governance around the world - and that figure is growing by as much as 60 new regulations each month. For cloud computing vendors this rising tide of red tape is holding back widespread adoption.

Russ Dietz, SafeNet chief technology officer, however does not believe that red tape will act as a permanent inhibitor and predicts that Australia is on the verge of a significant uptick in cloud activity as tools emerge which allow companies to move to the cloud, retain governance over their data, and comply with the different rules regarding privacy, security and location of data.

Mr Dietz who is currently in Australia to help launch the first iteration of the company's Trusted Cloud Fabric security framework in the region, said it was an important tool in returning some level of control over their data to end user organisations.

'The whole concept with the Trusted Cloud Fabric is to give users tools to allow them to still be compliant,' with a range of regulations or legislation government issues such as privacy and data location.

Over the last two years SafeNet has partnered with Amazon on developing and testing the approach. Amazon has developed a high profile as a provider of international public cloud services, although its reputation took a caning last month when its EC2 cloud collapsed, leaving clients without computer services for an extended period of time.

While reliability of service is a key issue for public cloud providers, so according to Mr Dietz is security, and the ability to provide users with a measure of control over their data in the cloud wherever that is located. Amazon he said; 'Desperately wants to have global users of its infrastructure.'

 

However until end users have a way of controlling and securing their data, and complying with the relevant regulatory and legislative requirements, international cloud adoption is likely to remain somewhat constrained.

What went wrong at Sony? read on...


According to Vince Lee, SafeNet's regional sales manager , the fundamental challenge facing enterprises is that; 'People are moving to the cloud and the control of the perimeters (of their computing operations) is fading.'

Mr Dietz explained that by using encryption to ensure that data was secure on its journey to and from the cloud, and within the cloud, it was possible to reduce the risk associated with cloud computing. It is an approach that the company has used successfully with the international payments network Swift, which uses SafeNet appliances to encrypt data it sends over the network.

'We use encryption to allow companies to maintain control over their digital assets,' said Mr Dietz.

He said that the first iteration of the Trusted Cloud Fabric comprised six modules.

'We will grow that modular approach about how to control your assets as you migrate them to different clouds.' He said additional modules would be added to the Fabric through 2011 and 2012.

Mr Dietz believes that a combination of strong encryption and effective authentication would help secure data both in the cloud and held on private networks.

Asked about the recent Sony security breach which saw the credit card details of online gamers' misappropriated all over the world Mr Dietz said that he was in touch with the team which was conducting the security post mortem on the Sony event, and that it had been shown to arise from a denial of service attach on Sony's authentication system.

'If they had used PKI it wouldn't have happened,' he said.






 

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