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RSA boss talks up cloud security potential

11 May 2010
Art Coviello
Art Coviello sees great promise in cloud computing

EMC World 2010: The rise of cloud computing is giving developers the chance to craft a highly secure system, according to RSA president Art Coviello.

The head of EMC's security branch said that the architects of cloud computing systems will be given a unique opportunity to craft platforms with built-in protections that could help to avoid common attacks on software platforms.

"If we could use the fundamental technology in cloud computing, and embed security right at the get go, we have an opportunity for a security do-over," he told reporters at the EMC World 2010 conference in Boston.

Coviello's comments come as vendors continue to doubt the security of cloud computing platforms.

The issue was a major focus at this year's RSA conference, and Coviello cited a recent survey suggesting that more than half of chief information officers still have concerns about cloud computing.

RSA executives outlined a new approach which would combine the VMWare Vblock platform with RSA's own monitoring and reporting tools, resulting in a system which could be more tightly monitored and secured at multiple levels.

This granularity in the cloud platform was also cited by EMC executive Pat Gelsinger earlier this week as a major security benefit for cloud platforms.

However, this opportunity is not without its risks. Coviello noted that cloud-based systems could prove a popular target for cyber criminals if developers fail to lock down platforms.

"If we don't do it right, instead of being in security heaven we could end up in security hell," he warned.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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