Security experts call for cloud kitemark

By Phil Muncaster on Jun 25, 2009 10:14 AM
Filed under Security

Regulation and education alone not enough.

Security and privacy experts have called for an international kitemark system to improve the security credentials of cloud computing.

Representatives from non-governmental organisations and the private sector, along with European groups and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), were gathered at Symantec's Security of the Future event in London today.

The experts warned against companies rushing into cloud computing without thinking first about the security and privacy implications, but most were agreed that regulation alone will not solve the problem.

John Carr, of the National Coalition of Children's Charities, argued that no institution was capable of "formulating and delivering an enforceable regulatory solution dealing with these myriad issues".

"The best hope is a technical standards body that we can have confidence in to develop some sort of transparent criteria or standard to apply internationally," he added. "Only business can do that. I seriously doubt any quasi-governmental body could get close."

However, Dave Evans, senior data protection practice manager at the ICO, maintained that a standard by itself may not be the best way forward, as it would not take in to account a cloud provider changing its business model after acquiring such a kitemark.

Steve Purser, deputy director of European Union network security agency Enisa, said that businesses need to reappraise their security models to ensure that they can cope with distributed environments.

"When it comes to security, the culture is lagging behind technology to an enormous extent. We haven't got the message across to businesses or citizens," he said. "The security models being used three or four years ago are not the kind we'll be using in the future."

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