NZCS progresses on cloud initiative

NZCS progresses on cloud initiative

Poll indicates support for disclosure of minimum capabilities

The New Zealand Computer Society posted the results of a poll on what they would like to see in a proposed cloud code of practice

"After wide consultation it is clear that the majority of participants support a...code of practice that is based on a simple set of disclosures," the organisation concludes on the poll summary posted to its Website.

Participants preferred "additional modules or a tiered system" while allowing flexibility to ensure the code is updated as cloud services evolve over time, while being governed by an existing organisation focused on the code and that could respond to complaints.

Only three respondents specified a particular organisation to take up the task, mentioning the NZCS, CSA or NZICT.

NZCS says the principles outlined in the conclusions of the poll form the basis of its draft proposal. The organisation is now seeking feedback on the proposed structure and approach with development and consultation sought through February and March 2012.

The organisation is holding a series of series of workshops focusing on specific aspects of the code, as well as calling together of groups of experts with exertise in specific areas, with release of the final code of practice planned by March 30.

The survey polled participants in six gatherings in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and by teleconference, with 78 of the 150 attendees responding.

Seventy percent of the respondents preferred a set of disclosures outlining the minimum acceptable standards for various types of cloud providers, with defniitions. Of these,

30 percent wanted an approach that allowed service providers to access different levels of compliance based on what they offered.

The most popular among eight proposed disclosure points involved data ownership and privacy. Almost 63 percent said they would want disclosure of "ownership of data" while 60 percent wanted disclosure of "access rights and methods to customer data". More than 56 percent favoured disclosure of a backup policy.

Only 42 percent thought it was important to disclose details of third-party providers, while the least popular proposed disclosure point was for maintenance procedures, at only 35 percent.

As far as definitions, most respondents wanted a variation of the NIST terminology for cloud services with reference to the full definition and accompanying supporting material.

That defnition is, in part that Cloud Computing encompasses "on-demand scalable resources which are provided as a service, such as networks, servers and applications that are accessible via the internet by the end user and can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal effort or service provider interaction".

To read the entire report on the survey, go to

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