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News

MS cloud computing plans to be approached with caution

Global Secure Systems (GSS) : 22 October, 2008  (Technical Article)
GSS warns of legal and corporate governance issues associated with the rush into cloud computing after Microsoft's announcement of plans to embrace the technology
Global Secure Systems (GSS) is cautious about industry euphoria following Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's comments on Cloud Computing late last week.

'Speaking at a Gartner event last Thursday, Ballmer said that there will be a number of key Cloud Computing announcements at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference, which is due to take place on October 27th in Los Angeles' said David Hobson, GSS' managing director.


According to Hobson, whilst he fully expects a wave of Cloud Computing euphoria to overtake the IT industry as details emerge of Microsoft's plans for the Web-based file storage and informational environment later this month, he cautions that most companies will also have to review their security arrangements on both technical, the legal and corporate governance fronts.

Hobson says "The traditional description of IT Security was CIA - Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. Cloud Computing still has a number of these issues to address. There will be major issues - what do you do if you ISP goes down? Will service credits really compensate you for the lost productivity? I doubt it. And whilst back up in the cloud sounds great, how long will it take to restore a multi gigabyte, or even terabyte file?"

"It's all very well", Hobson continues, "allowing your copy of Microsoft Office 2010 to store your files in the Cloud, but what about the provisions of the Data Protection Act, which effectively prohibit the storage of employee and/or customer data on the other side of the world without the express consent of the people concerned?"

'It's interesting to hear Ballmer saying that Microsoft's applications will not have to be recoded to run in a Cloud environment. This suggests to me that Microsoft's Cloud Computing initiative has been in the planning stages for some time. It is to be hoped that its Cloud IT security plans have been equally meticulous,' he said
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