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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Innovation at Amazon Web Services

Cloud Computing, Identity
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
5:34 pm

In the past few days, I became aware of innovations at Amazon Web Services that show how AWS continues to lead the industry in cloud computing.

The first product offering is the addition of Identity Federation to AWS Identity and Access Management Services, which gives customers:

the ability for you to use your existing corporate identities to grant secure and direct access to AWS resources without creating a new AWS identity for those users. This capability enables you to programmatically request security credentials, with configurable expiration and permissions, that grant your corporate identities access to AWS APIs and resources controlled by your business.

The second offering, “AWS GovCloud,” offers:

a new AWS Region designed to allow U.S. government agencies and contractors to move more sensitive workloads into the cloud by addressing their specific regulatory and compliance requirements.

I find it intriguing that the same company that pioneered the industries of online book retailing and ebooks, is so innovative in cloud services and Identity Management.  Plus, I was able to order an new cordless drill from the comfort of my hotel room in San Mateo last night!  Thanks to Amazon and UPS, I think the drill will arrive Arizona before I do this week.

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Computerworld: Security still top concern with cloud

Information Security
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
12:27 pm

Today, in a Computerworld article entitled, “Security still top concern with cloud, despite Amazon outage,” Jaikumar Vijayan stated,

Despite the heightened focus on cloud availability and uptime caused by Amazon’s prolonged service outage last week, security will likely remain the bigger long-term concern for enterprises.

Kyle Hilgendorf, a cloud computing analyst at Gartner reminded us that we need to plan for emergencies:

Amazon portrays an aura of invincibility, whether intentional or not, and this outage is going to remind enterprise customers that nobody is perfect and increased due diligence is required.

However, Hilgendorf said that security is really the more pressing concern.

I still consider it to be the bigger, long-term concern. Enterprises I speak to are more concerned about security than they are about availability, reliability or performance.

Jonathan Penn, an analyst at Forrester Research, said that last week’s Amazon outage is sure to stoke enterprise anxiety about cloud performance and uptime, but security is still going to be the bigger worry for most enterprises.

Companies that are looking to move applications to a hosted cloud environment are going to want even more availability assurances from their vendors now.

Ultimately though, enterprises need to realize that there can never be 100% uptime in a cloud environment, just as there can never been continuous availability within an enterprise data center.

Failures of the sort that happened last week will happen again, and it’s up to enterprises to ensure that they have measures in place to mitigate any resulting service disruptions.

Over the longer term, the thornier issue for most companies will continue to be data security. Forrester’s clients have consistently rated security as their top concern with cloud computing, ahead of other issues such as performance and availability.

It looks like we in the information security industry still have our work cut out for us.



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