RSA's Coviello: Cloud Will 'Turn Security Inside Out'


Coviello told thousands of security professionals at the conference that the cloud transition would open the door for the industry to "turn security inside out" by creating new partnerships and devising technologies to make the cloud more secure and efficient.

"Cloud computing is the security industry's way to change the way we deliver security," he said. "We have a rare opportunity for a do-over."

The march toward the cloud is inevitable and is in no small part driven by the state of the economy, Coviello said. Businesses today are slashing budgets and IT staff while simultaneously attempting to be more productive and efficient, he added, citing a statistic indicating that companies are spending as much as two-thirds of their IT budgets on maintenance, facilitating the proliferation of cloud technologies.

"Cloud computing can dramatically alter ratios. More innovation can be directed to innovation and competitive advantage," he said.

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Coviello went on to predict that the journey initially would be driven by virtualization of non-mission-critical infrastructure and evolve to virtualization of critical applications, adoption of internal private clouds and then the outsourcing of infrastructure to external systems.

"Organizations will demand it. We must get better returns on IT investment. We must play an essential role in making cloud computing a reality."

However, one of the biggest factors preventing companies from widespread cloud adoption is the security of data stored in the cloud, Coviello said.

"Because cloud computing represents a challenge as well as an opportunity, we have to be careful we don't end up in security hell," Coviello said.

For the cloud to be secure, providers will need to enable visibility, assess security, establish trust and prove compliance, he said.

To that end, RSA unveiled a partnership with VMware and Intel that aims to strengthen security controls, enforce compliance policies and increase visibility in private cloud infrastructure.

"It's not just theoretical. We announced collaboration and proof of concept with VMWare demonstrating how this visibility can be accomplished," Coviello said.

RSA executives say that the partnership ultimately will enable it to provide cloud offerings for all current physical and software versions of its products, starting with DLP and then extending to other security technologies such as access management, which are tentatively slated to be released sometime in 2011.

"This means we can deliver new waves of efficiency, agility and collaboration for organizations of all sizes," said Coviello.