Here is some sensible advice on “cloud computing” today from Is Your Head in the Clouds? [http://www.thegeekweekly.com/feature/head_in_clouds/index.html] by Marc Saltzman:
“…Know The Risks
After all, you’ve been reading email in the ‘cloud’ for many years now, with web-based services like Windows Live Hotmail and Gmail, so why not work on your business apps remotely, too? You can, but cloud computing carries a few risks, warns Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass.-based independent research company covering business and technology. “Cloud computing is a new concept for most companies, and as with anything new, it raises questions.”
Some argue working in the cloud can be safer than carrying around sensitive corporate data that could be lost or stolen, but you should evaluate the potential risks involved.
Sticking with a known company makes a difference. “Companies like AT&T Hosting & Application Services, that’s delivering hosted Microsoft Exchange, Salesforce with its CRM suite, or Microsoft itself, don’t have reputations for security breaches or other business failures,” says Schadler. “Instead, they invest more than your average Fortune 1,000 company in security technology and best practices — you see this reflected in their security certifications.”
Google Apps, for example, has the SAS 70 Type II certification to show its data centers and processes pass muster with a third-party auditor.
New Security Practices Needed
Cloud-style computing encompasses new security technologies and techniques, which will be available from new types of service providers, says John Pescatore, an analyst with Gartner, an IT research firm based in Stamford, Conn…
Securing Data In The Cloud
Pescatore recommends these steps to secure your cloud computing experience: