Agencies struggle with securing cloud computing

Friday - 7/2/2010, 8:30am EDT

Nick Combs, CTO, EMC Federal

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Cybersecurity Update - Tune in weekdays at 30 minutes past the hour for the latest cybersecurity news on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris (6-10 a.m.) and The DorobekInsider with Chris Dorobek (3-7 p.m.). Listen live at FederalNewsRadio.com or on the radio at 1500 and 820 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

  • The federal push to cloud computing has finally reached the ears of Congress, which held a hearing yesterday. One of the people testifying was Nick Combs, a 25-year veteran of federal service. He was a senior IT leader in the Army, Defense Intelligence Agency and in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Mr. Combs is now the chief technology officer for EMC federal, and he joins us with his views on the risks and opportunities in the cloud. Hear more in an interview with Nick Combs by playing the audio at the top of the page.

  • The General Services Administration has reiterated its promise to boost security and privacy of cloud computing. At a conference in Washington, Dave McClure, a top GSA executive, said the agency will launch a security effort in this fall. Federal Times reports, the initiative will be part of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FEDRAMP. It works like this: An interagency group will inspect vendors' cloud computing facilities to make sure they meet federal security standards. If the group certifies a cloud, agencies would be able to sign up for service without having to further inspect the facility. The group is called the Joint Authorization Board and will have members from GSA plus the Defense and Homeland Security Departments. Meanwhile, GSA closed bidding on vendor clouds it plans to offer governmentwide. Winning bidders will go through the FEDRAMP process. Learn more from a report by WFED's Max Cacas by clicking here.

  • Searching the Web just got a bit riskier, especially if you like the "Twilight" film series with vampires and werewolves. The security firm Norton says that cyber criminals have infected search results. A 50/50 chance of pulling up a poisoned link, if you search for information on the movie series. Norton says the links can place malware -- including keyloggers that can give hackers access to personal details on your computer.

Check out all of Federal News Radio's coverage of cybersecurity issues here.