Is Cloud Computing Safe For Government?

By on 22/07/2014 | Updated on 24/09/2020
In Mexico the market is opening up, from telecoms to energy

The increase in cloud computing by governments for storage, processing and transmission of digital data brings with it increased concerns. This is an area being closely examined by organisations including the US Department of Homeland Security and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology  (NIST).

The NIST has launched a draft report, NIST Cloud Computing Forensic Science Challenges. It has just finished a public consultation programme on the report and so will now continue its dialogue with industry, governments and academia.


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Co-Chair of the working group behind the report, Martin Herman, explains what they’re trying to achieve:

‘The long-term goal is to build a deeper understanding of, and consensus on, the high-priority challenges so that the public and private sectors can collaborate on effective responses.’

The report focuses on the problems, mainly legal and organisational, of forensic investigators trying to follow a criminal trail from a device into pooled resources in the cloud, across borders and legal structures. Others see different problems.

Brigadier General Touhill is Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Homeland Security Office of Cybersecurity and Communications. In a wide-ranging interview with Global Government Forum, he gave his views on the cloud.

‘Could computing is a fact of life. I think we need to factor that process into our future. We need to maintain security in that type of architectural construct.

‘It needs investments in the appropriate tools to safeguard information at the appropriate level. And then make risk-based decisions on whether or not that is the best hosting mechanism for the information that you have. It really depends on what type of information, how you are going to use it and the sensitivity of that data.’

Our exclusive interview with Brigadier General Touhill of the Department of Homeland Security, covering cybersecurity from publicly available tools to future threats, is live on this site now.

About Graham Scott

Graham is an experienced editor and publisher and an award-winning writer. He has travelled extensively and is interested in world cultures.

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