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One of the things I’ve been working on lately has been putting together a webinar talking about security and reliability in cloud computing, especially if you are depending on some other vendors’ software as a service (SaaS).  On the surface, this seems to be a reasonable question, since you are putting your – and often your customers’ – data in the hands of some third party provider.

Funny thing is, except for the largest companies, most cloud providers are able to put together a data center and cloud service with a security design that rivals that of the largest companies.  That doesn’t mean that you should trust implicitly in these providers.  Nothing is perfect.  Take, for example, the recent news of the hacker breach of Dutch Certificate Authority DigiNotar affecting Iranian users of GMail, and the breach of RSA’s tokens – two companies in the business of providing services for cyber security.

I’ve put together a couple of heavy hitters in this upcoming webinar about cloud security that can help you learn what to be concerned about when you turn your data over to a SaaS provider, and what SaaS providers are doing to help meet these concern:

  • Kamesh Pemmaraju, Director of Cloud Research at The SandHill Group who will discuss security concerns of his research clients (see his other recent webinars on the topic) and will interview
  • Dieter Grossman, Senior Vice President of Cloud Managed Services at SAP who will discuss what SAP is doing to meet security concerns of his customers as part of SAP’s SaaS offerings such as SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Sales OnDemand.

Expect this conversation to get a bit geeky over the subject of cloud security and reliability of service, but don’t be afraid to ask questions of these experts such as:

  • How reliable is a cloud service vs something I can build in house?
  • What kinds of security issues does a large company have to face when integrating to cloud services?
  • How important is it for my data to be encrypted, both in transit over the network and in storage?
  • How has the issue of IT security changed in the last year for customers of cloud services?
  • If a system does get hacked in the SAP Cloud Service, how will you know about it, what will you do about it, and what is the likely threat?

The session will only be as good as the questions that you, the community contribute, so take advantage of this opportunity and make these experts show their expertise.  Register now for the webinar:  Overcoming Barriers to Cloud Adoption: Security, Quality of Service, and Disaster Recovery.  Live broadcast is Wednesday September 28, 2011 at 8AM PDT, 5PM CET. A recording of the webinar will be available shortly afterwards.

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