By now, the pitch for cloud-based services is familiar to anyone in IT: They're cheaper, more efficient, and will free up in-house infosec professionals for more value-added tasks (yes, everyone's really going to miss reviewing log management data).
The promises of highly automated functionality and trouble-free operations may be slightly overstated, at least where cloud-based security is concerned. But most infosec professionals are already masters of due diligence, and cloud is like any other external service provider: seasoned security pros know to ask a lot of questions, perform their own testing and audits, and get customer references for the real skinny on how cloud-based security goes.
Smart, reputable cloud service providers will encourage/require customers to undertake many of these steps we outline here, and then some. But it should be noted any time a provider balks at being transparent or at providing greater levels of access and discovery. The partnership nature of cloud is inherent when it's essentially an outsourced service; for something as strategic as security, customers are going to want lots of disclosure and trust upfront.
Whether you're entertaining cloud security or are already a customer, here are some basic ways that these third-party services change the ways infosec professionals have traditionally conducted themselves. The list is by no means exhaustive. And if we've missed something egregious, leave us a note in the comments section below! Let's make this a multi-party dialog.