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Cloud computing risks manageable: survey

Rapid adoption of ‘the cloud’ cited as a top IT security challenge

Ninety per cent of Information Security Forum (ISF) members believe cloud computing changes their information security risk landscape, but they maintain they are well-placed to address these security issues.

The vote of confidence in cloud computing was revealed in the ISF's latest survey involving more than 300 of the world's major companies and public sector organisations. The ISF is a major independent, not-for-profit authority on information security, dedicated to reducing risk and resolving information security challenges.

The rapid adoption of cloud computing was identified as one of the top information security challenges in the ISF's latest Threat Horizon Report.

Adrian Davis, a senior research consultant for the ISF, said the research highlighted concerns about cloud computing.

"The main areas of concern are focused on managing user identities and credentials, third-party service providers, emerging cloud technologies, protecting against new forms of malware and legal and regulatory issues," Davis said.

Mobility, cyber crime and online espionage

The ISF said other key threats highlighted included the increasing use of powerful mobile devices, the growth in cyber crime and online espionage, and the merging of home and work computing.

"In our latest report on cloud computing, we advise members to address five tasks: prepare a strategy; identify the impact on business operations; assess risks to data; ensure information security is part of the decision-making process; and work under the assumption that cloud computing is already being used within the organisation."

Davis will by the keynote speaker at the forthcoming SecureAsia@Singapore Conference & Exhibition, one of the Asia Pacific's major events for information security professionals to be held at Suntec City in Singapore from 26 -- 27 July 2010.

The event is organised by (ISC)², the largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information security professionals worldwide, with nearly 70,000 members in more than 135 countries.

Increasing cloud confidence

The conference will present high-level tips for increasing confidence and reducing the risks in cloud computing. It will bring together more than 20 information security industry experts from the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the Asia Pacific to share their insights and strategies. More than 400 information security professionals from the region are expected to attend.

Davis will examine the relationship between cloud provision and outsourcing, along with key technologies such as virtualisation.