Study after study shows that the number one concern that IT organizations of any size have with cloud computing is security. But being concerned about something and actually doing something about it are two different things. The issue with cloud security is that it's difficult to deploy and manage.
The folks at CipherCloud, however, think that the best way to manage cloud security is via a cloud service that simplifies the whole cloud security management process. The company recently rolled out version 2.0 of its namesake service, which now includes connectors to multiple cloud computing services that allow IT organizations to not only encrypt data in the cloud, but also manage cloud security across multiple service providers using a common security management framework. Those services include connectors for Salesforce.com, Force.com, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Apps and Box.net.
According to CipherCloud CEO Pravin Kothari, the CipherCloud service works by first encrypting all the data that travels through its service on the way to be stored on any third-party cloud computing service. The keys for managing that data, however, reside with the CipherCloud customer, which means the IT personnel at the third-party cloud computing service never actually gets to see the data being stored on their service. The service then makes use of tokenization to resolve a lot of compliance issues, notes Kothari, in addition to making it possible for a lot of companies to store data outside of a particular country because all the data is encrypted.
With version 2.0 of the service, CipherCloud is also adding a malware-detection capability and a set of open application programming interfaces (APIs) that make it easier to connect the CipherCloud service to either a private or public cloud computing service.
While there are a lot of legitimate concerns about security in the cloud, it's not like there are no technologies available to address them. What may be really required is a new approach to managing cloud security that not only relies more on encryption, but fundamentally also makes applying and managing security policies a whole lot easier.