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Auditing Cloud Computing: A Security and Privacy Guide by Ben Halpert

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Chapter 5

Cloud-Based IT Service Delivery and Support

Peter Coffee

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Many IT operations display the same kind of growth rings as an ancient redwood tree, with layer upon layer of accumulated complexity—and with every layer adding new opportunities for security risk or privacy breach, whether due to accidental misconfiguration or deliberate attack.

Every interface is a potential point of error or invasion; adding interfaces to an existing, multilayer model ipso facto adds new risks and corresponding costs. It's therefore crucial to recognize that threats to security and privacy are enlarged, not contained, when legacy models are extended past the point where they should have been supplanted—no matter how much effort and expense are applied in pursuit of protection and governance.

Beyond Mere Migration

A physical migration of a traditional IT model, with attendant addition of new layers and connections, may all too easily become the flawed perception of what the cloud model has to offer. A costly, complex, brittle technology stack that's been moved to a virtualized, supersized environment is still costly to configure and maintain, complex to deploy and upgrade, and brittle in the face of continuing technical and business process change.

Rather than adding yet another layer of costly but fragile perimeter defense or link security, the move to the cloud ...

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