Top five cloud security tips of 2011

Caitlin White, Associate Site Editor

As cloud computing implementations kicked into gear in 2011, IT admins voiced persistent concerns about its security. Fear kept them holding mission-critical data and applications in local data centers instead of moving them to the public cloud. Our experts attempted to allay these fears by weighing in on

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the state of cloud security and offering some advice for moving safely and securely into the cloud. The results are SearchCloudComputing.com’s top five cloud security tips of 2011.

5.  Using identity federation to lock down your cloud

In an enterprise with dozens of cloud-based apps, constant password authentication is an end-user nightmare. But those passwords are there for a reason: to ensure your cloud’s protection.  Identity federation will help you achieve perfect harmony between user experience and a secure cloud. Centrally manage security by linking electronic identities with a single sign-on, and you’ll save your users’ sanity without sacrificing mission-critical data in your cloud.

4. Securing virtual machines in the cloud

Every IT admin and even the average Joe know the basics of securing local data using firewalls and antivirus software. But these tried-and-true techniques can’t keep up with fast-paced, high-traffic virtual machines in a cloud. Instead of nixing VMs in the cloud because of security woes, investigate these vendors that offer tools to protect cloud VMs.

3.  Tools pick up where cloud computing standards lack

All new technology will send providers scrambling to assert standards, but any conclusions for cloud management could be a long time coming. A lack of standards has many enterprises backing away from the cloud. Still, few cloud providers are reluctant to agree on a single solution. Should you wait to adopt cloud until you can rest assured there are management standards? Our experts say no, as long as you have the right tools in place.

2. Data security in the cloud: tactics and practices

Though IT admins’ lists of cloud security concerns may seem miles long, the solution can be as simple as this: Planning, planning, planning. Prioritize security strategies from the get-go -- from constructing your cloud to carefully monitoring its health. With this tip, you can make security an established part of your cloud.

1. Ten questions to ask when storing data in the cloud

It’s important to have a clear understanding of the risks, benefits, and costs associated with storing data in the cloud, especially mission-critical data. Confusion about cloud ownership and data transfers are at the heart of cloud security concerns, so it’s crucial to get up to speed on the basics outlined in these ten questions.


This was first published in December 2011

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