Facing the new challenges of the cloud
Amid tightening budgets and increasing citizen demands, the federal government is transforming and modernising the way it does business by providing employees with the tools they need to improve productivity and drive innovation. Disparate, on-premises email solutions are being replaced by cost-effective, cloud-based collaboration solutions that include email, mobile apps, voice and video communications, and social networking.
Cloud solutions represent an entirely new consumption and delivery model where users access applications and data in shared environments from multiple locations and devices. The risk profile for cloud-based services is significantly different from that for traditional IT service delivery models. The cloud places data and application source code in new and different places. Standardised infrastructures and applications can create an opportunity to exploit a single vulnerability multiple times.
Federal agencies must have a high level of trust in the security and governance policies of cloud service providers. Security risks can be managed through the application of proven security and governance methodologies and technologies. Given the critical need for federal agencies to protect information, cloud services must be able to address a host of new security concerns:
- Who has access to my critical IT infrastructure?
- Is my data going to be vulnerable to external hackers and
- Are my services going to be isolated from the public cloud—
and from other government clouds?
- Will my cloud services meet the requirements of the Federal
Information Security Management Act (FISMA)?
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