Earlier today, EMC federal division chief technology officer Nick Combs spoke before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation to discuss the potential opportunities and challenges that lie within cloud computing.
Combs' testimony was enlightened by his vast array of relevant experiences and qualifications. Prior to accepting his current position with EMC, Combs spent more than 25 years in the public sector as a senior leader in the Army, IT leader in the Defense Intelligence Agency and IT direction and chief information officer for the National Media Exploitation Center.
Combs' address comes at a particularly important juncture in government IT. Federal officials have been promoting the adoption of cloud computing for more than a year now, and several government agencies are attempting to integrate the technology into organizational strategy. But the lingering issue of data protection can no longer be ignored as the publicity surrounding security breaches has far outweighed that of success stories.
There is some debate regarding the extent to which data security concerns have been overstated, but in any case, there are undeniably a number of legitimate threats facing federal IT administrators. As reported by InformationWeek, a recent study from Market Connections revealed that more than 70 percent of the 200 federal IT decision makers surveyed felt that the increased sophistication of cyberattacks would be the top security risk their organizations face in the next year.
One emerging federal data security strategy has been increased collaboration with the private sector. Just last week, a report from the Department Homeland Security detailed plans to engage in a number of information sharing initiatives sure to improve the speed and efficiency of responses to data loss in the country.
"Both government and industry have information of value to each other that we would not have had if we were not working in collaboration," DHS spokesman Greg Schaffer recently told the House Financial Services subcommittee.
According to Business Insurance, the standardization and simplification of federal data breach notification laws may also be a step in the right direction. Although nearly every state and U.S. territory now has some form of data breach notification policy in place, disparate approaches may be doing more harm than good. A more comprehensive set of guidelines from federal officials may expedite progress on data security improvements and ease the burden on IT managers.
Regardless of the Internet security strategies ultimately adopted by federal IT decision makers, collaborative exchanges with industry leaders such as Combs may prove to be invaluable.
Cloud Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro