Cloud Computing: Schneier and Ranum weigh in

Unless you’ve been living in a cave over the past six months, you are probably aware that Cloud Computing is Next Big Thing.  Of course, it isn’t new or unique — it is a form of centralized computing and application delivery has existed since the first time-sharing systems emerged in the 60s.

But the big vendors need a story to push their products and services, and Cloud Computing is it for 2009. It isn’t suprising that the information security and privacy protection aspects of cloud computing are starting to get a lot of attention as well.

What are the risks? How secure is my data in the Cloud? What privacy protections can I rely on? Do you really trust your service provider?

Bruce Schneier and Marcus Ranum have a video from their Face-Off series that is well worth viewing for anyone looking to take advantage of Cloud Computing services.

I like Ranum’s emphasis on limited data access and lack of portability. Locking clients into a hosted application and database is going to be a problem when the client wants to use another provider. Just how do you move five years of email from Gmail to your own mail server? Can you quickly extract and replatform your critical sales data from if Salesforce gets bought out by one of your competitors?


Video/Podcast Page

Take a look at the page navigation link directly above this post called Video/Podcast — I’ve started to collect and post links to identity, security and privacy video clips.  There are a few podcasts I’ll add as well in the coming weeks.

I find that these videos — even if some are from vendors and can be biased — provide easy-to-digest mini courses on various topics.  Enjoy!