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Cloud Security Fears an Exaggeration? We Think Not.

Posted August 9, 2011    Peter McCalister

According to a recent Computerworld article, outgoing Federal CIO Vivek Kundra was quoted as saying that cloud security fears are being exaggerated. Let’s take a brief look at some of the top government cloud service providers approved by the General Services Administration and see how they have fared in security, just in terms of malicious insiders.

AT&T
On June 27, The Tech Herald reported that recently leaked AT&T documents to LulzSec came from an insider.

Microsoft
Computerworld reported this past February that Microsoft accused a former employee of stealing 600MB of confidential documents.

Verizon
CNN reported in November 2008 that Verizon Wireless fired employees after they gained unauthorized access and viewed President Obama’s old cell phone accounts.

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute on the Security of Cloud Computing Providers reports that “the majority of cloud computing providers do not consider security as one of their most important responsibilities.” Organizations that outsource to a cloud vendor often times make their choices based on price instead of security. Often this transition involves multiplying the number of IT admins with access to the company’s data several-fold and without proper admin controls. Kind of a scary thought, isn’t it?

If cloud computing providers don’t consider security one of their top responsibilities, are the fears around cloud security really being exaggerated? Let’s ask the millions of customers who have had their personal information compromised or the thousands of organizations who have had their sensitive corporate data divulged.

Jim Zierick, EVP of product operations here at BeyondTrust, recommends that if an organization is going to move processing to the cloud, they prioritize and oversee security at cloud vendors, insist on reporting and improve protections of even less sensitive data.

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Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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