US Cyber Command Chief Gives Cloud Computing Security His Vote of Confidence

US Cyber Command Chief Gives Cloud Computing Security His Vote of Confidence

Even as cloud computing advances by leaps and bounds, security concerns remain. This issue has been addressed time and again by me in several articles. Even supporters of the cloud maintain that unless these problems are resolved, universal adoption will remain a dream.

Here are some older articles dealing with security on the cloud:

Recently, this point was specifically raised by the chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, Rep. Daniel Lungren (California) who said how important it is “to have a promise that the security of the cloud is going to be measurably better than the security we have in the current system” (See: Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity Conducts Hearing on Cloud Computing ).

At the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Cyber Colloquium held on 7 November in Washington DC, cloud computing got the vote of confidence from General Keith Alexander, commander of US Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency (NSA). “We can argue over merits of cloud structure but we have found it is easier to secure the cloud. Thinking about the cyber issues that face us, coming up with a defensible system is important and cloud computing is one way to help make that possible,” he remarked.

Cyber terrorism and cyber crime featured prominently in his talk. According to him, the cost of such transgressions to the global economy is estimated at $1 trillion and malware is being introduced at a rate of 55,000 pieces per day. According to Regina E. Dugan, director of DARPA, 2004 had marked the first time that proceeds from cyber crime exceeded profits made from the sale of illegal drugs, and the problem is growing.

The vulnerabilities we face are extraordinary……what we see is a disturbing trend, from exploitation to disruption to destruction,” General Alexander observed. “We need defensible architectures and we have to change the way think about defending systems” He proposed increased collaboration between government agencies and private companies in the realm of cybersecurity and cloud computing, with the first steps already been taken (See: Knowledge Sharing on Cloud Computing Between Government and Public Sectors  and US Military Asks for Private Sector’s Help to Understand Cloud Computing).

The fact that NSA, the premier US intelligence agency is actively looking at security issues and has reposed its faith in cloud computing augurs well for the technology.

By Sourya Biswas

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