Google Apps talks up security in the cloud

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Though admits that no system is "100% secure".

Google Apps has confirmed its confidence in cloud computing as it offers benefits to existing services.

Google Apps director of security Eran Feigenbaum claimed that he was ‘convinced that the future of computing lies in the cloud' as the solutions are cost-efficient, collaborative and more secure to operate.

Feigenbaum admitted, however, that there are worries about security as computing moves out of the desktop and on to the internet.

Feigenbaum said: “Cloud computing, when IT software and services are delivered over the web and through a browser, is a paradigm shift, similar to taking your jewellery out of your sock drawer and placing it in the bank. The bank has the economies of scale. It has guards, robust safes, video surveillance — much more than any security investment you can deploy yourself.

“The same is true with data. Cloud providers such as Google are equipped to protect millions of users' data every day. As a customer you get to enjoy these economies of scale at minimal expense. We have over 1,000 people dedicated to Google Enterprise, including some of the world's best security experts who are helping to make sure that your data stays safe.”

He also claimed that the cloud offers security advantages, such as patching. “Most organisations take 30-60 days to install security patches on their systems which is a major concern in its own right. In fact, many companies I talk to admit it's closer to three to six months to install a security patch,” said Feigenbaum.

“This means that traditional IT systems and applications are open to known security vulnerabilities for a very long time. By contrast, we run a very homogeneous computing environment, so when it is time to patch we can do it in a rapid and uniform manner to all of our systems.”

He also admitted that more than 1.75 million businesses have already signed up for the Google Apps suite, and this number is expanding by an additional 3,000 businesses each day.

Feigenbaum said: “Admittedly, no system is 100 per cent foolproof or 100 per cent secure. From time to time any system will be affected by some security issues. The real question is what people, process, and technologies do you have in place to minimise the impact of these incidents, and how quickly can you respond if anything goes wrong?”

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