Organisations are no longer talking about cloud adoption. For most organisations, the cloud is already here; it is a reality. The discussion now is about the need for best practices and technologies to secure the cloud.

This was one of the main highlights of CloudSec 2012, a cloud security event held in Singapore on 15 August.

At the event, keynote speakers from industry leaders such as Trend Micro, VMWare, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), and National Institute of Science and Technology underlined the need to boost customer confidence and urged all stakeholders to come together to resolve the fundamental issues that bedevil cloud security today.

At the event, a signing ceremony to highlight the establishment of Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) corporate headquarters also took place. The ceremony also brought attention to the partnership between CSA, the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) to further cloud security in Singapore.

The Cloud is here

Cloud drives innovation and trends such as analytics and Big Data, social networking and consumerisation of IT are feeding the cloud frenzy, said Dave Asprey, global vice president, Cloud Security, Trend Micro.

He was moderating a panel discussion for the media at CloudSec 2012.

Other participants at the discussion were Timothy Grance, senior computer scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Jim Reavis, co-founder & executive director, Cloud Security Alliance, and Nicholas Tan, country manager, Singapore, VMware.

Citing research, Dave said that the cloud will create £702.1 billion (US$1.1 billion) in new revenues every year. This sector will create 14 million jobs between 2011 and 2015 across all businesses-from small & medium businesses to large businesses. One third of these jobs will be in four industries: communications, media, banking and manufacturing.

He also said that cloud will drive jobs in the Asia Pacific region during this period (2012-2015). Cloud-related job growth will be 155 percent in Japan, 129 percent in Australia, 109 percent in Singapore, 107 percent in Malaysia, 103 percent in Indonesia and 99 percent in India.

However, he noted, the adoption of cloud computing in the region is slower than expected. "Singapore manufacturing has the least affinity for cloud," he said. But the good news is that, he added, Singapore government and financial services lead cloud adoption in the country. "Overall, rate of growth is still relatively low."

Dave said that the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) establishing its corporate headquarters in Singapore augurs well for the region and will provide the necessary shot in the arm to accelerate the adoption rate here.

The Cloud Security Alliance is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within cloud computing, and to provide education on the uses of cloud computing to help secure all other forms of computing. Trend Micro, a global cloud security solutions provider, is the founding sponsor of CSA Asia Pacific.

According to an announcement made on 20 July, the CSA will undertake a three-year strategic private-public partnership with support from the Singapore government to further the security of cloud computing.

As part of the agreement, the CSA will establish a Global Research Centre, Global Standards Secretariat, and Global Centre of Excellence for CCSK training and education in Singapore.

Referring to the CSA, Dave said that three important steps are being taken to strengthen its work in the region. One, there is focus on training manpower to fill the cloud security jobs that will be created as the sector develops. Two, TrendMicro has established a research lab in Philippines to study and thwart threats to the cloud environment. The lab employs 1,000 security experts. Three, CSA is developing industry guidelines to educate end-users on the best practices in cloud security.

At the event, the industry leaders agreed that the need for guidelines would be the single most important factor responsible for ensuring success in cloud.