Cloud Computing Can Be Safe, According to New Book by ICF International Cybersecurity Expert
Cloud Computing Can Save Money Without Putting Business Information at Risk
Fairfax, Virginia, March 3, 2010 -
Cloud Computing can save companies money without putting business information at risk. That is the message in Above the Clouds: Managing Risk in the World of Cloud Computing, a new book by cybersecurity expert Kevin T. McDonald, senior critical infrastructure protection (CIP) and cybersecurity analyst for ICF International, a leading provider of consulting services and technology solutions to government and commercial clients.
Through cloud computing, a company's information technology (IT) functions are moved to an external, shared service provider and accessed over the Internet. Data is no longer stored in-house and the company no longer owns software applications. Above the Clouds: Managing Risk in the World of Cloud Computing explains the potential benefits of adopting this approach.
Author Kevin T. McDonald challenges the misconception that cloud computing must necessarily offer weaker data protection than an in-house server. In fact, he argues that cloud computing can help to defend an organization from IT security threats such as denial-of-service attacks, viruses, and worms.
McDonald says the concept of 'outsourcing to the cloud' is proving increasingly attractive to companies seeking to save money. "The cost is falling dramatically, which means it is no longer rare for a company to consider cloud computing." A company is charged for the use of software applications and for data storage just like being charged for electricity. By only paying for the resources used, operating costs can be reduced. After all, as McDonald explains, in-house data centers typically leave up to 90 percent of available capacity idle.
Cloud computing can lead to energy savings, too. Running a data center normally requires heavy investment in generators and uninterruptable power supplies. Cloud computing removes that burden from individual companies and consolidates workloads on high-performance processors.
Furthermore, outsourcing rarely needed IT tasks and functions allows IT staff to focus on core work. Equally, rather than having an IT team spend valuable time monitoring the market for new products, and then facing the challenges of integrating those products into an organization, cloud computing means that up-to-date software suites are painlessly introduced across a company 'from above' by the service provider.
Above the Clouds: Managing Risk in the World of Cloud Computing (ISBN: 9781849280310) acts as a primer and strategic guide to identify the best practices and associated risks of cloud computing. The book explains how to reduce those risks to acceptable levels. From software as a service (SaaS) to replacing the entire IT infrastructure, McDonald serves as an educator, guide, and strategist. The book, published by IT Governance Ltd., also offers valuable tips on how to choose a provider of cloud services. It is priced at $39.95 in softcover and eBook format.
About the author
Kevin T. McDonald is a Senior Cybersecurity Analyst for ICF International, based in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Tech America Cloud Computing Committee and the IAC-ACT Cloud Computing in Government committee and the Cloud Security Alliance, and author of Above the Clouds: Managing Risk in the World of Cloud Computing. McDonald is an imaginative IT security and project leader with more than 25 years of industry experience. He has successfully led complex engagements in CIP implementation, training, cybersecurity, and readiness assessments. He specializes in critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, and business continuity planning and has published and spoken in a variety of venues.
About IT Governance Ltd.
IT Governance Ltd. is the one-stop shop for books, tools, training and consultancy for governance, risk management and compliance. The company is a leading authority on data security and IT governance for business and the public sector. IT Governance is 'non-geek,' approaching IT issues from a non-technology background and talking to management in its own language. The company's customer base spans Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia. More information is available at: www.itgovernance.co.uk.
About ICF International
ICF International partners with government and commercial clients to deliver professional services and technology solutions in the energy and climate change; environment and infrastructure; health, human services, and social programs; and homeland security and defense markets. The firm combines passion for its work with industry expertise and innovative analytics to produce compelling results throughout the entire program life cycle, from research and analysis through implementation and improvement. Since 1969, ICF has been serving government at all levels, major corporations, and multilateral institutions. More than 3,500 employees serve these clients worldwide. ICF's Web site is www.icfi.com.
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