The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is embracing cloud computing, and in a big way. The effects may ripple across both federal agencies and private industry, encouraging more widespread adoption of cloud computing.
The DHS plans to consolidate its data operations from more than 40 current data centers into private clouds centered on "two enterprise data centers." One is at a NASA facility, but will be operated by Computer Sciences Corporation; the other will be run by Hewlett Packard. The centers are intended to back each other up and provide redundancy. In addition, DHS plans to move its public-facing websites into public clouds.
On the one hand, DHS is developing new cloud security standards and best practice guidelines that will benefit all organizations that adopt and adhere to these standards. On the other hand, firms that join the leap into the cloud without ensuring that their security procedures are up to the task could be setting themselves up for a nasty fall.