Making sure your Cloud provider can protect your data as promised

At the end of my Cloud Expo West presentation last week, I was asked, "How can we verify that a cloud provider actually has all of these infrastructure and security mechanisms in place?" It's a great question, one that deserves a fuller answer than I was able to give in the time available. So here's a more detailed version of my response.

The primary options -- certifications and inspections -- could be added as a requirement in your contract with the cloud provider. Currently, there isn't one formal standard for cloud computing certification, but the following are increasingly being used:

FIPS 200/SP 800-53

As a result of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed the Federal Information Processing Standards 200 (FIPS 200), Minimum Security Requirements for Federal Information and Information Systems, and the Special Publication (SP) 800-53, Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations. (You can see why the acronyms are preferred.)

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Tags: freemium, security, internet, data protection, cloud computing

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Security Awareness Tip

Incident handling is a vast topic, but here are a few tips for you to consider in your incident response. I hope you never have to use them, but the odds are at some point you will and I hope being ready saves you pain (or your job!).


  1. Have an incident response plan.

  2. Pre-define your incident response team 

  3. Define your approach: watch and learn or contain and recover.

  4. Pre-distribute call cards.

  5. Forensic and incident response data capture.

  6. Get your users on-side.

  7. Know how to report crimes and engage law enforcement. 

  8. Practice makes perfect.

For the full breakdown on this article

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Warning: Tips for secure mobile holiday shopping

I’m dating myself, but I remember when holiday shopping involved pouring through ads in the Sunday paper, placing actual phone calls from tethered land lines to research product stock and availability, and actually driving places to pick things up. Now, holiday shoppers can do all of that from a smartphone or tablet in a few seconds, but there are some security pitfalls to be aware of.