Trust in the cloud is an acknowledged obstacle to widespread cloud adoption. As experts in a panel Wednesday said, however, the cloud has become a place where businesses can store data with confidence. The key to widespread adoption is building trust in cloud services, the panel agreed.
The discussion took place at RSA 2014 in San Francisco, where some of the best and brightest information security experts in the field gather to discuss current issues facing the industry. Cloud security was a hot topic at this year’s conference, with many businesses still expressing concerns about turning their data over to cloud hosting providers.
The topic sparked hot debate at the panel, which was made up of experts from a variety of high-profile providers like Microsoft and Google. Panelists agreed that building trust is important, but they couldn’t come to terms on how cloud providers could build that trust.
Low-Risk, Big Reward
Google Apps’ Eran Feigenbaum noted that many cloud service providers give businesses more security than they’d find at their own on-premise data centers. “It’s the cloud provider’s responsibility to convince you that what they’re doing is safe and secure,” Feigenbaum said.
Cryptographer Bruce Schneier pointed out that when a business chooses to outsource cloud services, that business is outsourcing more than storage. Businesses are outsourcing expertise. He compared it to businesses hiring a tax expert to take care of their taxes and trusting an airline to take care of getting them safely to their destination.
But as businesses entrust their sensitive data to the cloud, service providers will have to work hard to win their trust. Panelists agreed that providers could begin to create that environment of trust by offering a certificate to customers that serves as proof the storage solution meets security requirement. Businesses and consumers alike will feel more comfortable if the vendor offers a guarantee with its service, panelists say.