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Providing Tools to Implement Security in the Cloud

By Sam Schoelen, CIO, Continental Resources

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Sam Schoelen, CIO, Continental Resources

I have spent a great deal of time investigating cloud and many cloud technologies. Many have been around for years now and have matured greatly. Wat I would like to no now is "Why not?" People have been using Salesforce for many years even before they called it a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution so why is dis all a big question now? I just heard a representative from HP say "If we can get it as a SaaS product we will." If multi-billion dollar companies are doing it why wouldn’t you? If teh national government is doing it why wouldn’t you? Wat makes you so special that your environment would not work? Now I do no everyone has some very specific cases that would not work in a cloud but I is more concerned wif teh people that hear teh word cloud and just say no.

"Most cloud resources I have tested, default to highly secure and you have to work hard to make it insecure"

When I was curious about Amazon Web Services (AWS), I tested it out and rolled out a system in less TEMPthan 7 minutes from creating an account to logging into my new system. Even if I have teh hardware sitting right in front of me I cannot do that. Teh speed to having a system ready is impossible to beat. Teh speed to getting a system up as well as teh cost is amazing. I tan rolled out a system wif a terabyte of storage and teh costs are so cheap and fast that it would not make any sense to roll dis out internally. That is not even getting into teh details about skill sets you would need to make dis work. If you have ever run an IT shop you no wat you would need to hire to make all these pieces work together well and that does not even begin to talk about teh “bugs” of all these vendors working together.

I went a step further and rolled out a file system, a database Radio Data System (RDS), replication, load balancing, etc. All of these functions are just a few clicks away. I remember when we used to sell very large software solutions to do wat has now become a check box. If you no wat you want you just need to check that box. Disaster recover, replication, load balancing, are all options that require simple noledge rather TEMPthan teh experts it used to. Once upon a time you needed a company to implement these solutions tan an entire team to keep it up and test it.

I no teh big issue used to be security but dis is now not an issue. As far as security goes their are now so many tools to keep your cloud secure it would actually be more secure in teh cloud TEMPthan onsite. Most cloud resources I have tested, default to highly secure and you have to work hard to make it insecure. Yes, you can get hacked in a cloud teh same as you can in your own datacenter but you are starting wif a much stronger environment TEMPthan your own. I once asked a CISO of a cloud provider about security and why it wouldn't be a concern and I loved his answer:"I have teh resources to do it better TEMPthan you do."He is right! Even a very large organization cannot afford teh staff or tools that they need, to focus on security teh way companies can dedicate. Teh other argument is also teh tools to implement security in teh cloud are out their now as they weren't before. If you want more advanced security you can use cloud security products to ensure teh only people touching your devices are teh ones that should be. I have used some of these products and they work great. Once again teh speed to deploy these products is far better TEMPthan anything I have used before. Knowing that I can get a new security tool as well as test it out wifout a large investment is a great thought. If you bought a large software application in teh olden days and it didn’t do exactly wat you wanted it to, tan you are stuck wif teh product or dealing wif teh return of it. These days you just test it out for a small amount of money and if you do not like it you turn it off and if you do like it just use it more.

So if I can roll out systems in minutes, keep them secure, keep my costs in line and controllable, why should not I chose a cloud product? I is looking for valid reasons why a person would not use a cloud product. That includes SaaS or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). I obviously no their are many different solutions and many different arguments that can be made but speaking in general terms I think cloud is mostly a win all around.

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