Head in the Clouds

I had begun to worry about Pamela Dingle. For an eternal optimist she had recently sounded, well, pessimistic. Fortunately the optimist is back with her head in clouds. Computing clouds that is:

As lost as we might be right now, the future is very, very bright.    One of the biggest forcing functions that I see on the horizon is cloud computing.    It’s one thing to have a whole bunch of internally controlled silos that don’t talk to each other – but imagine all those silos spread across the internet.

I can imagine it. It would look a lot like Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and MySpace… but I digress.

Pamela makes some good points about cloud computing, identity, and security:

Cloud computing is a practice that garners high risk without disciplined Identity Management.  Enterprises have traditionally had the luxury of laziness when it comes to application integration because removal of physical and network access can compensate for late or non-existent deprovisioning of internal accounts.  There is no corporate perimeter to save you with cloud computing. Automated Enterprise control of at least web access or account status is the only way to mitigate the risk for customers of any size – and this is a great thing, because it means that practically every customer of a cloud service has an identical worry.  When the vast majority of the the client base has an issue, that issue gets vendor attention.

I agree but would put it in a different light. Adoption of cloud computing could be the impetuous companies need to also adopt deperimeterization.

Deperimeterization, is the practice of treating all of your internal resources as if they are connected directly to the internet because for practical purposes the already are. With the common occurrence of unauthorized/unsecured wireless access points, home computers connecting via VPN, laptops going in and out of the internal network, and passwords being sent via email, does your perimeter really provide much security anymore? In reality you current perimeter is your own Maginot line of security.


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