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Can the cloud really be more secure than datacenters?

As enterprises continue to rely more and more on software applications to run their core businesses, application and data security are critical for any company. At the same time, security is a complex problem touching all seven layers of the software-networking stack, from physical resources up to application and data layer security. With the multitude of vendors and variables to work with, implementing security is both an intimidating and costly exercise.

Wouldn’t it be much easier if enterprises didn’t have to worry about security and received a standard security package designed by experts, which took care of all their security needs, including updating and staying current with the latest best-practices? Cloud computing enabled by CliQr does exactly this. CliQr-enabled clouds are even more secure than most datacenters as there is often a piece of the security puzzle that has been overlooked at the datacenter level. Let us begin with cloud security in general.

Clouds have been developed and designed by companies that host large infrastructures. These companies often use the very same cloud infrastructure to run their core mission-critical applications. Needless to say, these companies have already invested a lot of resources and hired teams of experts to secure their infrastructures. Today’s cloud providers offer very sophisticated layers of security including:

– Highly secured facilities that host the physical resources

– Best practice security regulations, configuration control and administration

– Compliance such as SAS 70 Type II, SOC 1, SOC 2

– Security audits like PCI, HIPAA, ISO, etc.

While this takes care of infrastructure layer security, in the interest of flexibility, clouds do not directly implement application and data security, but rather provide the means to complete a business’ security needs on their infrastructure.

Some ways in which clouds do this are by providing:

– Secured PKI mechanism for accessing and managing the cloud environments

– APIs for configuring network firewall settings

– VLAN constructs for creating isolated private networks

– Data encryption on storage

Today it is an enterprise’s responsibility to complete these security requirements on a cloud environment using the above mechanisms and manage the keys securely. In Part 2, I will discuss how CliQr completes this security by taking care of these aspects for the enterprise.

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