How to stay secure in the cloud computing age

Allan Friedman, Fellow, Brookings Institution

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It’s almost impossible to talk about cloud computing without bringing up security.

Allan Friedman, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, explores how to think about privacy and security on the cloud in a report he co-wrote, “Privacy and Security in Cloud Computing.” He argued the real weak link in security is the human factor.

“It’s not something we can innovate ourselves out of,” Friedman said in an interview with the DorobekINSIDER.

Data owners’ expectations must change. For example, most agreements with cloud providers have a no liability clause, Friedman said.

“We need to have a greater understanding of what the data owners are getting into when they’re passing on their data to cloud providers,” Friedman said.

The legal structures that protect data must also include data in the cloud, Friedman said.

“There’s a growing consensus that we need to say, If we are going to provide legal protections for our papers in the 21st century, our papers now consist of things on an e-mail server that’s not necessarily under my desk but in a shared cloud environment. But it still counts as my papers and it still needs to be protected,” Friedman said.

The United States demands high security, but — compared to the European Union — does not have a high level of regulation when it comes to protecting data, Friedman said.

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