Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Security benefits to Cloud Computing

As cloud computing becomes the hot new market for IT vendors, observers have been quick to seize on the security risks of hosting data and applications outside the enterprise network.

That’s not surprising to Craig Balding.

“With any new technology, it’s easy for people to get excited about the risk,” he says. But Balding, a security practioner with a Fortune 500 company, blogger, and co-author of Maximum Security: A Hacker's Guide to Protecting Your Internet Site and Network, believes there are also security benefits to cloud computing.

Most significant is the centralization of data, he says. “Large corporations have a problem with asset protection,” Balding says. That’s because there can be instances of the data in a number of places, including employee laptops.

“People with thick clients are bound to download files,” he says. And all too often, those thick-client laptops hold unencrypted data.

“If you combine cloud computing with thin clients,” which only hold small amounts of data in cache, there is less physical exposure to data leakage.

“I think the cloud providers have got an argument there,” Balding says.


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