Jericho Forum Targets Cloud Security


The security organisation founded by end-user chief security officers is focusing its attention on secure approaches to cloud computing

Security organisation Jericho Forum has published a model which it claims should help companies with security planning when assessing cloud computing applications and infrastructure.

The organisation, whose members include the chief information security officer (CISO) for BP and Symantec’s chief scientist, has published a positioning paper which describes the Jericho’s Cloud Cube Model approach to securing hosted applications.

The company has also posted a video on Youtube from Jericho board member Adrian Seccombe, who is also CISO and at US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. Seccombe said that although there are significant security risks with cloud computing, if implemented right it can have enormous benefits in terms of flexibility.

“The cloud approach to organising business can be both more secure and more efficient than the old-style silo structure,” he said. “Viewed from a different perspective it opens a potential Pandora’s Box of security nightmares… not least of which is loss of data confidentiality and integrity.”

Seccombe added that a carefully approach to cloud computing should bring security issues back under control. “In fact, a pure cloud model really can make the user king, providing him with ultimate flexibility. But reaching that pure level is not easy,” he said .

Jericho says that for less than £100, spent on a credit card, companies can get access to huge computing resources that would have required months of planning and thousands of pounds of investment in the past. However that flexibility comes at a price of its own and has to be approached carefully, the organisation said.

“No need for big project plans, no lengthy presentations, no funding discussions or budget-sign-offs. But the cloud has massive implications for how you evaluate risk and also how you secure data or what business continuity set up you establish,” Jericho said in statement.

According to John Meakin, Jericho Forum board member and director digital security and CISO for BP, focusing on cloud security is a natural evolution of his group’s work on de-perimeterisation – a strategy based on securing specific assets rather than ring-fencing the whole corporate network.

“Developing a set of best practice principles addressing secure collaboration in the cloud is the obvious – and indeed important – next goal for us,” said Meakin.

Jericho is set to discuss its cloud approach at a panel session on Thursday, 30 April at Infosecurity Europe in London.