Debate: Threats to cloud security are overhyped.


Rick Howard, CSO, Palo Alto Networks

Yes, of course these threats are overhyped. For whatever cloud service you are thinking about – a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering like Box, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering like Amazon Web Services, or a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering like Windows Azure – there are solutions for this virtual space that are exactly equal to or nearly equal to the prevention and detection controls you already deploy within your physical world perimeter. 

And, if you want to build your own virtual data center in the cloud using VMware, solutions exist there too. 

Are cloud services new? Yes. Are we less experienced with this model as a community? Yes. Should we run away from it because it is new and because we don't have lots of experience? Absolutely not. 

That ship has sailed. If you are not in these virtual spaces now, you will be in five years. Why are you fighting it?


Geoff Webb, VP, solution strategy, Micro Focus

We've made huge progress on addressing some threats to cloud security.  The problem we face is that this progress has been focused on addressing current threats scaled to meet the types of use that cloud services currently provide.  Before long, however, this will essentially be irrelevant because the Internet of Things (IoT) is about to change everything. The power of the IoT resides in the “I” – the internet connectivity that fuels data collection, aggregation and response. And that connection will almost certainly point to a cloud service. 

We should expect to face demands on cloud services for resilience, scale and breadth of use that dwarf what we see today. Massive complexity and immense numbers of connected devices will stress to breaking point strategies around access, identity and device management. 

Approaches that secure cloud services for a few million users may well be useless in the face of billions of devices – and those devices will be connecting very soon.

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