When private networks intersected public networks in the 1990s, the need for security systems became urgent. The connection to the Internet, the collaborative environment of business, multi-modal communication systems, network based business processes and convergence of technologies have created a number of security issues that must be addressed and handled. It is, therefore, not surprising that there are a number of cloud imperatives for the development and implementation of cloud oriented security models.

Cloud security has evolved from being a mere cloud backup safeguard to a management discipline. It has ceased to be a tactical IT task and has emerged as a discipline that is hedged by a number of policies and procedures and tightly enmeshed with the business and its cloud backup processes. Dozens of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), security architects and analysts are involved on a daily basis in ensuring that security in the cloud is never compromised.

Research indicates that companies have yet to appreciate the importance of offloading security to service providers in the cloud. The paramount fear seems to be the loss of control over security, worry over responsiveness issues, and obtaining the right cultural fit for their customers and employees. Those who actually took up the challenge have found that they derived very significant benefits from the move. They averred that Managed Service Providers brought a wealth of experience to the table. They handled same or similar security problems for multiple clients and had learnt from the experience. Their learning was placed at the disposal of the enterprise saving it thousands of dollars. Learning curves shortened and time to market improved.

Developing a security model for cloud backup focuses attention on data assets. The visibility of the data to third parties, security configurations, events, threats and vulnerabilities are to be analyzed. While data should be available for informed decision making, event detection should be automatic and risk management calculations should take into consideration the possibilities of data hijack and data corruption. Effective controls and effectiveness metrics must align security investment with returns to the business.

If your enterprise is weighing a transition decision, it is important to first understand and analyze the security imperatives for the cloud. Then, get a vendor you trust to create a cloud environment that has all the security safeguards in place. Get cost savings, but do not compromise on security. Push the vendor to the limits and ensure compliance.