Security Design in the Cloud
The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in a block of concrete, and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards.
—Gene Spafford, professor, Purdue University
Prior to cloud computing, buyers of commercial software products did not demand the level of security from vendors that they do today. Software that was purchased and installed locally within the enterprise provided various security features for the buyer to configure in order to secure the application. The vendors would make it easy to integrate with enterprise security data stores such as Active Directory and provide single sign-on (SSO) capabilities and other features so that buyers could configure the software to meet their security requirements. These commercial software products were run within the buyer’s perimeter behind the corporate firewall. With cloud computing, vendors have a greater responsibility to secure the software on behalf of the cloud consumers. Since consumers are giving up control and often allowing their data to live outside of their firewall, they are now requiring that the vendors comply with various regulations. Building enterprise software in the cloud today requires a heavy focus on security. This is a welcome change for those of us who have been waving the red flag the past several years about the lack of focus on application security in the enterprise. There is a common myth that critical data in the cloud cannot be secure. The reality ...