Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal, OpenStack Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Cloud to Be Most Disruptive Technology of 2013

Enterprise Cloud News

As more organizations move critical data to the cloud, security takes on ever-increasing importance, according to a recent report on cloud security.

The Security for Business Innovation Council, consisting of IT security professionals from 19 companies worldwide, called cloud computing the main disruptive force for 2013. In its report, "Information Security Shake-Up," the group said it was evident many organizations are preparing to move more business processes to the cloud. This year, it will even be "mission-critical apps and regulated data" consigned to the cloud, according to an article on NetworkWorld.com.

The Council includes security professionals from Coca-Cola, eBay, FedEx, EMC, Fidelity Investments, Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Walmart, among several others.

"Although supplier lock-in and system availability are some of the big concerns with the cloud, security remains the No. 1 obstacle to adoption," the Council's report states. "But trust in the cloud is growing."

Even regulators are starting to warm up to it, they noted, pointing out that the Dutch banking authority gave Dutch banks the green light to use cloud services late last year. But there are "gaps" in how well companies are planning for any transition to the cloud, the report notes. Though middle managers in companies may favor cloud computing for business reasons, there's a gap in coordination and trust with the IT security managers responsible for regulatory and security controls.

"Middle managers don't want to use their resources on security," the report bluntly says. "They are incentivized by timeline and budget; adding security doesn't fit into their objectives."

Security teams should be striving this year to build relationships with these middle managers, the report emphasizes. The practice of regular meetings and information exchange is an approach that has worked well over the past few years with the top corporate executives to bring their attention to the nature of cyber-threats. These top execs now largely understand and prioritize information security. But getting the same rapport going with middle managers is likely to be an even bigger challenge, the report says.

Growing Confidence in Cloud Security
Cloud computing has IT professionals increasingly convinced that while security controls are adequate, there still remains some skepticism.

Len Peters, CIO at Yale University, has undertaken a cost-benefit analysis of cloud-based services in comparison to on-premises software purchases. He found that not only are unit costs less for the software-as-a-service (SaaS) he's most interested in, but that SaaS can also further the compliance and security goals of the IT department, according to an article on CSOonline.com.

Last spring, Yale elected to migrate from an on-premises IT management application to the cloud-based ServiceNow. The economic analysis indicated a positive cost advantage within 13 months. But security and compliance considerations were and always are going to be critical factors in cloud-computing decisions, Peters said. Like many IT pros, he found himself asking the questions, "Is the cloud safe? What are the potential risks?"

The answer, he says, is yes, there are risks, but not necessarily any more than in your own environment if the proper security and contractual arrangements can be put in place with the cloud provider. What's more, use of cloud services can help speed the adoption of best practices that would further safeguard the university.

Yale is going to be looking at more cloud-computing options in the future for things such as human resources and ERP, Peters said.

Protecting Information in the Cloud
As attractive as cloud environments can be, they also come with new types of risks, according to an article on CFO.com.

Executives are asking whether external providers can protect sensitive data and also ensure compliance with regulations about where certain data can be stored and who can access the data. CIOs and CROs are also asking whether building private clouds creates a single point of vulnerability by aggregating many different types of sensitive data onto a single platform.

Blanket refusals to make use of private- or public-cloud capabilities leave too much value on the table from savings and improved flexibility. Large institutions, which have many types of sensitive information to protect and many cloud solutions to choose from, must balance potential benefits against, for instance, risks of breaches of data confidentiality, identity and access integrity, and system availability.

Refusing to use cloud capabilities is not a viable option for most institutions. The combination of improved agility and a lower IT cost base is spurring large enterprises to launch concerted programs to use cloud environments. At the same time, departments, work groups, and individuals often take advantage of low-cost, easy-to-buy public-cloud services - even when corporate policies say they should not.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories from Big Data Journal
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed wi...
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, B...
Goodness there is a lot of talk about cloud computing. This ‘talk and chatter’ is part of the problem, i.e., we look at it, we prod it and we might even test it out – but do we get down to practical implementation, deployment and (if you happen to be a fan of the term) actual cloud ‘rollout’ today? Cloud offers the promise of a new era they say – and a new style of IT at that. But this again is the problem and we know that cloud can only deliver on the promises it makes if it is part of a well...
Cisco on Wedesday announced its intent to acquire privately held Metacloud. Based in Pasadena, Calif., Metacloud deploys and operates private clouds for global organizations with a unique OpenStack-as-a-Service model that delivers and remotely operates production-ready private clouds in a customer's data center. Metacloud's OpenStack-based cloud platform will accelerate Cisco's strategy to build the world's largest global Intercloud, a network of clouds, together with key partners to address cu...
I write and study often on the subject of digital transformation - the digital transformation of industries, markets, products, business models, etc. In brief, digital transformation is about the impact that collected and analyzed data can have when used to enhance business processes and workflows. If Amazon knows your preferences for particular books and films based upon captured data, then they can apply analytics to predict related books and films that you may like. This improves sales. T...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the “Internet of Things” (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, will discuss the real...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is n...
When one expects instantaneous response from video generated on the internet, lots of invisible problems have to be overcome. In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Tom Paquin, EVP and Chief Technology Officer at OnLive, to discuss how to overcome these problems. A Silicon Valley veteran, Tom Paquin provides vision, expertise and leadership to the technology research and development effort at OnLive as EVP and Chief Technology Officer. With more than 20 years of management experience at lead...
BlueData aims to “democratize Big Data” with its launch of EPIC Enterprise, which it calls “the industry’s first Big Data software to enable enterprises to create a self-service cloud experience on premise.” This self-service private cloud allows enterprises to create 100-node Hadoop and Spark clusters in less than 10 minutes. The company is also offering a Community Edition via free download. We had a few questions for BlueData CEO Kumar Sreekanti about all this, and here's what he had to s...
Labor market analytics firm Wanted Analytics recently assessed the market for technology professionals and found that demand for people with proficient levels of Hadoop expertise had skyrocketed by around 33% since last year – it is true, Hadoop is hard technology to master and the labor market is not exactly flooded with an over-abundance of skilled practitioners. Hadoop has been called a foundational technology, rather than ‘just’ a database by some commentators – this almost pushes it towards...