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News

Two factor authentication could help protect against future risks

ISACA : 12 August, 2008  (Technical Article)
Report from ISACA identifies possible protection measures against risks identified with “cloud computing” including two factor authentication and encrypted VPN connections
Security issues with Cloud Computing - identified by a US military science professor at the Defcon security convention late last week - have been confirmed by ISACA – formerly known as Information Systems Audit and Control Association - although the 30-year-old not-for-profit governance and security association says that technology can come to the rescue.

'The comments of Greg Conti, the US military academy professor, in Las Vegas last week, highlight the problems that the IT security industry will face in the next few years if, as the experts are predicting, companies move on up the efficiency and financial benefits that Cloud Computing will bring them,' said Sarb Sembhi, President ISACA London Chapter.

'Conti pointed out that early examples of this technology, such as the simple Web-based email services offered by Google and others, are difficult to secure when using standard Web interfaces, but ISACA believes that, with the right technology, these problems can be solved,' he added.

Sembhi went on to say that two-factor authentication systems, when married with encrypted VPN connections, can secure an Internet connection into a cloud computing-based service, making interception of files and transmissions almost impossible.

'Whilst there is no such thing as a totally secure system, especially a system that is accessible across the Internet, our belief at ISACA is that, with the right technology, the new generation of Cloud Computing system can be made as secure - if not more secure - than existing server-based office systems,' he explained.

In May of this year, ISACA polled its senior membership about the security technology issues that worried managers the most.

The findings of this survey, says Sembhi, revealed that information security management, along with regulatory compliance and the challenges of managing IT risks, were uppermost in members minds when it comes to security.

'Clearly, Cloud Computing adds to these issues, but, with the right technology in place, ISACA believes that the security issues associated with this brave new networked world can be surmounted, even if the process takes a little time,' he said.
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