Best Practices

Properly planned and well-executed, cloud migration can result in significant savings, increased efficiency and performance, and even enhanced privacy and security. This section of the SafeGov.org site includes case studies of cloud deployments with the goal of articulating best practices and potential pitfalls by focusing on the risk management, strategic planning, and resource management issues that define a successful cloud transition.

G-Cloud PaaS – Government as a Platform

Cloud Best Practices Network, SYS-CON Media,  Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mike Bracken, Executive Director for Digital in the UK Cabinet Office, writes that the future of public sector IT is ‘Government as a Platform’ (GaaP), and describes how it will enable the next phase of digital transformation for government. The Cabinet Office recently published this video to easily describe the concept.

Cloud Security and Reliability Remain Top Priorities for IT Leaders

Bob Kirby, FedTech,  Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CDW interviewed more than 1,200 IT managers across many different industries for its Cloud 401 Report, and found that more than a third of all computing services today are delivered via the cloud. The survey also found that organizations don’t plan to stop there: Thirty-five percent of respondents say they plan to shift new IT services to the cloud. The survey’s respondents say they most frequently implement those services or tools that are simpler to transition. Storage, email and web hosting services are most widely delivered via the cloud, according to the survey, and perceived as the easiest to transition. Respondents also say they find cloud-based services easier to implement as more services are shifted there.

How can ISO 27017 and 27018 help secure the cloud?

Davey Winder, CloudPro UK,  Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Standards are crucial to both secure the cloud and give businesses the confidence they need to make the move. Which is where ISO 27017 and ISO 27018 come in as new standards for cloud services. The latter, which was released into the wild and published last year, has the formal title of being the "code of practice for protection of personally identifiable information (PII) in public clouds acting as PII processors" and provides guidance on the privacy of cloud-hosted data. ISO 27017 is still in draft form, expected to be published towards the end of this year, and will cover information security management for cloud systems outside of the privacy remit.

Vertical Clouds Target Specific Industries

Linda Rosencrance, StateTech,  Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Although specialized cloud platforms have been around for several years, they’ve mainly focused on industries that face particular regulatory issues or have specialized requirements. Now, vertical clouds are emerging across all industries. Research firm IDC estimates that there could be more than 100 of these industry clouds by the beginning of 2016. Industry clouds offer several advantages to organizations. For one, they can help the public and private sectors to integrate and break down traditional silos, enabling better collaboration and information sharing within the enterprise.

The United States of Cloud saves state and local governments millions of dollars

Thoughts on Cloud,  Friday, April 17, 2015

From the Atlantic to the Pacific, state and local governments are embracing the cloud. In all, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) finds that 20 percent of states are now investing heavily in cloud computing, according to their 2014 survey. And these early adopters are saving significant taxpayer dollars.

5 Ways to Reduce Data Loss in the Cloud

Dan Lohrmann, Government Technology,  Saturday, April 11, 2015

There’s an ongoing debate about when the term “cloud computing” first appeared. But there’s no debate about the cloud’s positive impact over the past decade. Whether discussing technology infrastructure, new data center needs, software as a service, disaster recovery, mobile app delivery or other aspects of future technology innovation, cloud computing is at the center of the conversation. But security continues to top the list of cloud concerns. To prep for a recent online symposium on improving cloud security, I reviewed 2008 presentations from when I was Michigan’s CISO describing the good, the bad and the ugly in the cloud. Here were some of the bullets...

How companies secure their cloud data

Help Net Security,  Friday, March 27, 2015

As companies accelerate their adoption of the cloud, the cloud data footprint is expected to grow to 6.5 zettabytes by 2018. This rapid migration of data into the cloud creates the need for insight into both cloud adoption trends and cloud data security issues.

FISMA report highlights federal cloud security deficiencies

Rob Wright, TechTarget,  Friday, March 27, 2015

A newly released government report shows a lack of basic security controls in many departments and agencies, highlighting the precarious state of federal cloud security.

How they did it: Cloud success stories

Rutrell Yasin, Federal Times,  Monday, March 23, 2015

The year 2013 was a busy one for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which moved its website and email to various cloud infrastructures to achieve greater operational efficiency and costs savings. A law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice, ATF moved atf.gov to a Drupal platform operated by Acquia and hosted on the Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure. In the same year, the bureau also moved 7,500 email users to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based messaging and collaboration platform, said Rick Holgate, ATF's assistant director for science and technology and CIO.

States Up Their Data Center Game

Nicole Blake Johnson, StateTech,  Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A number of state and local governments are downsizing IT staff through attrition, collapsing data centers and rationalizing applications. They’re gradually backing out of the data-center business and tapping commercial vendors to host government applications in the cloud. In some cases, they’re co-locating with other governments.