Home 3 Points on Cloud/SaaS Security from Google’s Director of Security

3 Points on Cloud/SaaS Security from Google’s Director of Security

V3 is running an interview with Google director of security Eran Feigenbaum. Feigenbaum makes some interesting points about cloud security and the possibility that cloud solutions might actually be more secure than on-premise solutions. What do you think? Are these valid reasons to migrate to the cloud, or just marketing talking points?

Feigenbaum encourages IT to trust users to find the tools that they need to do their jobs and help them find a way to use them safely in the workplace. “The role of security is to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of business data, but now there must be a way to say ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’ because users are smart and they will find ways around your controls.”

This fits with Cisco‘s mid-year security report finding that 27% of users had modified settings to access a blocked application or site. Cisco also recommended IT embrace employees use of non-standard applications and focus on educating users instead blocking access. We’ve been seeing a general shift away from uniform technology standards at companies like IBM and Intel as well.

As we’ve mentioned a few times, shadow IT seems to be a major part of Google’s enterprise strategy.

Moving to the Cloud Shifts the Patch Management Burden Away from IT

Feigenbaum notes how difficult keeping up with patch management can be for IT. “If you move to the cloud, there are no more servers to patch,” he says – there by shifting the patch management burden to cloud providers like Google.

It’s an interesting case to make, as security remains one of the biggest stumbling blocks for cloud adoption, whether it should be or not.

However, solutions such as IBM‘s BigFix may mitigate some of the problems IT managers have with patch management and minimize the benefit of moving to the cloud.

Google Often Blocks Viruses Hours Before Anti-Virus Vendors Do

Feigenbaum made an interesting claim in the interview: because Google sees two billion email transactions a day, it puts them in an advantageous position for sniffing out viruses. Feigenbaum claims Google often blocks viruses hours before major anti-virus vendors do.

Google does seem to do a better job at spam filtering than most vendors selling anti-spam solutions – which itself probably cuts down a massive number of viruses. Even though malvertising, social media spamming and SEO are eclipsing e-mail as a vector for malware, there are still nasty outbreaks like the current “Here You Have” virus.

Disclosure: IBM is a ReadWriteWeb sponsor.

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