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Is Security Lost in the Clouds?


  • Marjory S. BLUMENTHAL

    (Georgetown University, Washington, DC)


"The cloud" can apply to different kinds of services (typically differentiated as platform-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and software-as-a-service), and it is the subject of rampant hype about its benefits. This paper draws on extensive readings from the literature (technical, business, and policy) and consultations with a wide range of experts over the past two years. Intended to provide a counter to the cheerleading and a framework for more balanced consideration of public cloud services, in particular, it begins with an exercise in accentuating the negative. In particular, it lays out various ways in which the cloud might be seen as a new platform for malice. The paper enumerates key issues, including kinds and sources of risk (vulnerabilities and threats) associated with providers and/or users and implications for trustworthiness in cloud contexts, as well as the prospects for new technology to counteract apparent sources of risk. It addresses different cloud contexts, and it argues for leveraging cloud concerns to rethink fundamental issues about the nature, handling, and protection of data (which may be stored or processed in the cloud - or not).

Suggested Citation

  • Marjory S. BLUMENTHAL, 2011. "Is Security Lost in the Clouds?," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(81), pages 69-86, 1st quart.
  • Handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs8103

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    More about this item


    Cloud; privacy; security; cybersecurity; data;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software


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