Cyber commander backs cloud computing expansion

March 18, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via Army Times

While the top U.S. cyber commander was on Capitol Hill making the case for shifting the Defense Department to cloud computing, three companies were announcing a corporate alliance aimed at addressing the working-level security concerns that have slowed the progress of the commander’s proposal.

The timing was, said one industry official, “a pleasant coincidence.”

The shift to cloud computing would require hosting applications online and storing sensitive data at offsite computers, instead of at the agencies that generate the information and rely on it. Some experts say the change could improve security by consolidating information and applications from thousands of desktop computers to a few highly protected sites. Information security officials have been a harder sell, reportedly because of fears that the information could be vulnerable during the transit or while in storage.

Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, told a House subcommittee that he believes the shift can be made safely.

Alexander said his staff went searching for the best method to “help secure the Defense Department’s networks, given the vast typology of those networks. It was our opinion that the best way to go was to a thin, cloud, virtual cloud environment, analogous to the way that Google, AT&T and others are doing it.”

Story here.