Cloud reputation hurt by cybersecurity worries

The forecast for widespread use of cloud computing might be less certain than it once was.

Although championed by former federal CIO Vivek Kundra and others as a way for agencies to reduce IT infrastructure costs, the technology's reputation has suffered after a recent slew of cyber attacks on federal agencies and government contractors, reports The New York Times.

In particular, these attacks have caused heightened fears over the security in defense and intelligence systems, the article states.

In July, Government Computer News reported that security concerns about cloud computing outweigh the potential cost savings by a 2 to 1 margin in a survey by government and industry IT professionals. Though it added that economic pressures could change that.

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Reader comments

Mon, Aug 22, 2011

According to the NYT article, "Attacks from abroad this spring and summer on government systems and contractors have heightened concerns over security in defense and intelligence systems," if you look at the systems involved, they were actually so called private, dedicated systems, not true cloud systems. According to the one DoD Cyber Report released last October, the cited breaches and hacks were of single tenant, private enclave systems. If you look at the Defense Cyber Crime Center analyses of 116 incidents, it indicates that distributed single enclave systems are as vulnerable if not more vulnerable due to people, processes, and technology, not to mention the security patch challenges on all those systems. If one looks at the NIST National Vulnerability Database, most of the critical vulnerabilities listed are for traditional client server private system architectures.

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