Last month, former Transportation Department CIO Dan Mintz offered his views on cloud computing to Eric Chabrow, Managing Editor of Government Information Security. According to Mr. Mintz, there is currently a debate raging within government circles on the safety of the wide use of cloud computing. "We're having a hard time to secure information without the cloud," Mintz says. He goes on to say that processes need to be first developed to determine which information is safe to be accessed over the Internet.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, NIST is actively working that issue right now by drafting a Cloud Computing Security Publication. (Once again I recommend reading Perspectives on Cloud Computing and Standards by Peter Mell and Tim Grance)
In the Government Information Security article, Former NSC counter terrorism director Paul Kurtz adds his views on the issue by saying that determining which information is safe to be accessed over the Internet shouldn't be a problem. He believes the savings to taxpayers to be significant by using software as a service applications and storing non-sensitive data in the clouds. His only concern is what he calls a "disruption in the sky", an Internet outage that would make access to information problematic. Still, he says, it worth doing and calls for lawmakers to address cloud computing in the regulatory reform legislation.