Risk
8/30/2010
10:24 PM
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Security Questions To Ask Your Cloud Provider

NeoSpire's director of security, Sean Bruton, discusses the realities of cloud security and the key questions to ask when assessing a hosted or cloud service provider's claims.




Analytics Slideshow Calculating Cloud ROI
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InformationWeek SMB: All this security sounds like it can be a lot of work to provide. How big does a company have to be to internally house data, cost effectively?

Bruton: Every company will have a different level of risk they're willing to accept. Consider a small company doing credit cards has to meet payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS) requirements, versus some other business where data loss isn't as big a concern. Every company, big or small, has to look at their regulatory obligations with regard to security.

It takes seven to eight people to run a single 24-hour shift. For a single web application, the costs would be astronomic. Even if you're willing to go to one shift, or on-call... you're still talking about $100,000 a year just in salary.

A dedicated or cloud provider can do this work for about 10% of that, and without the capital expenditures or other commitments on your part. So unless you already have a staff for round-the-clock offsite BC [business continuity], DR [disaster recovery], and to meet your various regulatory requirements, it's not cost effective.

InformationWeek SMB: So until you're big enough to have all those teams in place, you'll never see a cost savings? Especially if you add in the learning curve, the costs of keeping up to date with new technologies, new regulations, and new threats.

Bruton: No, for a third party, that's the business they are in. In terms of operations, you can treat it like a "black box," and not worry about the technology.

But using a third party means there's a disastrous impact to security. Since you don't know what your provider is doing, you can't tell your auditors.

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Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.