Addressing Cloud Security: Reaching base camp on an ever-growing mountain

Two questions never fail to come up whenever I’m talking about cloud computing:  What are best practices for cloud security and what are you Intel folks doing together with McAfee to address it?    So when we commissioned a study and cloud security survey on IT perspectives on cloud security, I didn’t think that I’d find too many surprises.   Seeing that 87% of companies surveyed said that they had substantial concerns regarding public cloud security certainly didn’t surprise me, but the fact that 69% had similar levels of concern around private clouds did.

While security obviously isn’t just a challenge for public clouds, 65% of respondents believed they had a higher number of security breaches in public clouds vs private ones.   I know many of the leading cloud service providers in the industry and they do a very solid job of managing security and continuously enhancing their features.   But regardless of whether their security feature set is superior to the average enterprise, when it comes to purchasing decisions, perception is reality and apparently we need to help build confidence in IT’s use of public cloud services.

To address this need, we’ve been working with McAfee to develop combinations of Intel hardware-enabled features that are exposed and management by McAfee tools to enhance the security capability for both public and private clouds.  In fact, we’ve taking on the joint mission to make security in the cloud as equal or better as best-in-class enterprise security.

As an example of some of the capability we’re jointly enabling, we want to enable secure, trusted server pools and allow policies and access tools to recognize when those servers have been secured.   At Intel, we’ve enabled Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) in our latest Xeon E5-based platforms.    This allows virtual environments to boot with hardware-enhanced security features.   We’ve worked with Trapezoid Digital Security to demonstrate how TXT can be combined with McAfee’s e-Policy Orchestrator to demonstrate how to manage permissions based on whether a server has an established hardware root of trust.    This is just one of the elements that we’re highlighting in our joint McAfee and Intel security briefing today.   You can see some of the other solutions and highlights at

Want to hear more or see how some of your peers are addressing cloud security?  Then join me at Forecast 2012 – a unique event led by the Open Data Center Alliance (a group of over 300 datacenter and IT professionals) – where both your peers and solutions providers will share their latest thinking on cloud security and best practices.

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Jason Waxman

About Jason Waxman

Jason is corporate vice president of the Data Center Group and general manager of the Data Center Solutions Group at Intel Corporation. He manages Intel’s business, products and technologies for cloud service providers, a rapidly growing data center business segment. Waxman oversees the company’s technology development for cloud computing, including silicon components, optimized system design, data center management, security and facility optimization.