More Security for the Cloud

Leading IT specialists discuss European Cloud strategy in Berlin

(PresseBox) ( Berlin, )
During the Cloud for Europe Conference and the meeting of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board, leading figures from politics and IT discussed the future of a European cloud strategy in Berlin. The main question was how to provide security and build trust in cloud technologies in the face of the current spying scandals. Agreement existed in regard to the central role of data security and the need for joint, international solutions.

"We do not want a new centralized European super infrastructure. Our role is rather to federate and enhance national, regional and local initiatives," said the Vice President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, in her opening speech. "We need trust if we want to build an open cloud market that does not stop at regional or national borders," Prof. Dr. Radu Popescu-Zeletin, Director of Fraunhofer FOKUS and host of the conference, added. "We need measures which enhance security when entering or leaving the cloud, when storing information and when changing the system, too," Popescu-Zeletin explained further. He continued that regarding access security, digital identities, data security and certification, further research is necessary. In his speech, the president of the Republic of Estonia and chair of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, argued that "violating the integrity of data is the biggest threat" and demanded that "the European Union member states must ensure a safe system for the citizen that can fend off any kind of malevolent attacks, protect everyone's online identity and ensure data integrity."

The IT Commissioner of the Federal Government, State Secretary Cornelia Rogall-Grothe, called for internationally agreed and accepted security standards for cloud services. Furthermore, she pointed out the need for reform for data privacy: "In the area of data protection, we can see that the current model of third party data processing, which German data protection law is based on, is not adequate to deal with cloud computing." Michael Hange, President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), referred to the approaches of the BSI in IT security certification and stressed that it is now necessary to "incorporate the solutions developed until now in an overall European context, which contain trust-based cloud solutions for citizens, businesses and government agencies."

Cloud for Europe is a research project that is funded with 9.8 million Euros by the EU. It includes 23 partners from 11 countries. The goal of the initiative is to give a clear view on the public sector requirements and usage scenarios for cloud computing. The project will be officially launched at the Conference on November 14th and 15th 2013 that features international experts from politics, the public sector and the industry. The event will provide exclusive insights into the European public sector cloud market. Topics are security and privacy issues, national cloud initiatives, the role of cloud computing in the digital service infrastructure, as well as cloud computing services and business cases. The Cloud for Europe Conference is free-to-attend.

Preceding the Cloud for Europe conference Fraunhofer FOKUS hosts the Steering Board meeting of the European Cloud Partnership. The European Cloud Partnership (ECP) brings together industry and the public sector to establish a Digital Single Market for cloud computing in Europe. It has been established as part of the European Cloud Strategy. The ECP Steering Board provides advice to the European Commission on strategic options to turn cloud computing into an engine for sustainable economic growth, innovation and cost-efficient public services. Members of the ECP include high-level representatives of the IT and telecom industry and decision makers from governmental IT policy making. The partnership is chaired by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia.

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