Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content management systems, presents its latest analytical article “Clear skies ahead: cloud computing and in-the-cloud security” by Magnus Kalkuhl, the company's senior regional researcher in Germany. The article aims to clarify the concept of cloud computing and the related concept of in-the-cloud security.
Cloud computing is based on a combination of powerful servers and fast Internet connections. This concept had a forerunner in the shape of the mainframe – terminal model (which later transformed into the server – thin client model). In general terms, cloud computing is about renting IT capacity of any kind to anyone who needs it.
With cloud computing, portability can be combined with performance: you can buy a cheap laptop and use it as a thin client. Then all you need to do is connect to your in-the-cloud-provider and enjoy as much performance and memory as you need. A significant risk associated with the technology is that the user has to keep all the data, some of which may be confidential, on the service provider’s servers, making it a potential target for cybercriminals. It will be a couple of years before cloud computing really takes off as companies will have to get used to the idea of sharing all of their data with service providers.
In-the-cloud security is the use of outsourced security services that are offered in the cloud, while the operating system is still running locally on the desktop PC. In-the-cloud security comes in different flavors: for instance, Kaspersky Lab offers Kaspersky Hosted Security Services, which provide anti-spam and anti-malware services by filtering traffic for harmful content before it reaches the end user. The company’s personal products also offer in-the-cloud security in the form of the Kaspersky Security Network.
Advantages of the in-the-cloud approach to PC protection include lower memory consumption, a smaller download footprint and better response times. Its drawbacks include a dramatically increased risk of false positives.
Antivirus products which implement in-the-cloud technology have already been released and there seems little doubt that by the end of 2009, this technology will be widely accepted. As time goes on, the two approaches will merge, with individuals and organizations using cloud computers protected by in-the-cloud security services.
The full version of the article is available at Viruslist.com. A summary of the article is available on Kaspersky Lab’s corporate site.
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