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How hypothetical is Kundra's 'hypothetical' cloud threat?

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra urged the U.S. government to follow the lead of Japan and India and embrace cloud computing in times of belt-tightening and other economic challenges.

"As foreign governments prioritize investment in the cloud, the United States cannot hesitate because of hypothetical security threats that serve the entrenched interests of the IT cartel," he wrote.

Kundra's comment about an alleged IT cartel struck a nerve with federal contractors and industry insiders. But while that phrase was generating reaction, others were debating whether the security threat for cloud computing is hypothetical or real.

Sam Ceccola, senior director of technology at Blackstone Technology Group, declined to comment on Kundra's article specifically, but said that in general, security approaches have not matured as rapidly as cloud technology has -- which means security can be diffcult to ensure.

“With cloud and mobile devices, we don’t have one entry point anymore," Ceccola said. "It’s always easier to secure one door, but if the entire perimeter is a hundred doors, that’s a lot more difficult to secure using traditional methods."

We'd like to hear from our readers: How hypothetical are the threats Kundra alludes to in his article? Are agencies aware of the challenges that come with a cloud transition? Did Kundra downplay the threat? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Sep 08, 2011 at 12:19 PM


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