Last week the Washington Post published a big article in which it lists a variety of software-as-a-service applications trying to get government business, and notes how many federal agencies are leery of things like Google Docs and cloud storage because of perceived security concerns. I came away from it thinking what a shame it is that the government, and likely many average citizens, has such a bad perception of cloud security when in fact their own internal networks are not likely to be nearly as well guarded.
Then to my amusement, the same paper published a story yesterday detailing network security failures at the Department of the Interior. Hopefully Washington — and other potential customers of web-based software and services — will realize that while security is an issue when it comes to accessing apps and information stored in the cloud, bigger ones remain. Among them are the lack of open standards with regards to moving data from cloud to cloud and clear regulations around how data is stored, as well as a lack of transparency on the part of vendors regarding where information is kept. Perhaps once Washington recognizes these things, cloud debates will be less about spreading FUD, and more about clearing some of the fog.