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To Cloud or Not to Cloud?

| Published: 11/19/2012 9:14 AM | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Steven C. Markey

Vasant RavalThe drivers for going to the cloud continue to grow as enterprises find themselves dealing with the onslaught of mobile devices, big data and security compliance requirements. From large enterprises to small businesses, the cloud is gaining in popularity and this is especially true for new system deployments. Though the application service provider (ASP) and/or hosting model nuances of cloud computing have been around for a while, the contemporary characteristics of the cloud—namely on-demand, resource pooling and rapid elasticity—have really helped this business model take off.

With the explosion of mobile device use, enterprises can now leverage cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) systems to secure their systems, data and network. Additional cloud-based solutions designed for mobile security, such as mobile web gateways or mobile virtual private network (VPN) solutions, are being deployed to the enterprise as well. Watch for the cloud-based security solution trend to continue as organizations strive to deal with mobile application security (AppSec) via cloud-based dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools. Beyond the mobile and cloud spectrum, big data is another avenue of growth for cloud use.

As organizations continue to mine and manage their data for value-add opportunities, cloud-based big-data analytical solutions will continue to flourish. When discussing big data analytics, Map Reduce and Hadoop come to mind and, at this juncture, multiple cloud service providers (CSPs) offer solutions and support these technologies (e.g., Amazon Web Services [AWS], Microsoft Azure). This trend will continue to grow as organizations become less skeptical of cloud solutions. However, regardless of the maturity of the cloud, it is advocated that a risk assessment be performed before a decision is made to use the cloud for any data/system.

As big data and mobile device solutions are created, deployed and matured, the cloud will grow along with it. Whether the cloud is right for an organization depends on its risk tolerance. However, we have seen ASPs and/or hosting around for quite some time, and the cloud is a reality that all enterprises must address.

Read Steve Markey’s recent Journal article:
Leveraging the Cloud for Added Value,” ISACA Journal, volume 6, 2012


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