Cloud Security Big Topic in San Francisco

Boy, taking a look at some of the sessions for the RSA Conference 2011 in San Francisco during February 14-18, it sure looks like, as the saying goes, what’s old is new again.

I’m talking about the issue of cloud security, specifically many organizations’ hesitancy about switching apps and data to the cloud because there seems to be too much evidence of security breaches and performance outages, for example, the famous invasion of Chinese expatriates’ Google email accounts by the censorious Chinese government.

Here’s what I mean; just take a look at some of the lineup sessions:

– “Cloud Computing Privacy and Security: The Legal, Ethical, Regulatory Framework.” In an article I read about the conference, this session will enable participants to discuss legal, ethical and regulatory issues around security and how organizations can address them effectively.

If you go, you’ll learn how to discern the most effective uses of cloud computing, separating them from those that come with greater risk and contribute less value, according to the piece. Another benefit: the session will teach IT pros how to classify, analyze and mitigate legal and compliance risks that are inherent in cloud service models, among other areas of discussion.

Another useful take-away might be to learn how to contract with cloud providers, particularly in order to protect sensitive  information you might be sharing.

I wish I could be a presenter there, because I’d talk about the relatively easy solution of monitoring cloud service providers that any organization can take — even the smallest of companies.  Independent tracking of such providers has proven an extremely valuable strategy for helping web businesses tell when their sites go down or slow down.

Monitoring of apps is another great defense against what could go wrong. After all, if you’re an adminsys, you don’t want to find out that your company’s email application isn’t working. By then, it’s too late.

That’s why monitoring tools, like Monitis, offers instant notification should something with your site go wrong.