EU cybersecurity agency warns about over-reliance on cloud

ENISA sees an upside to cloud usage, too

The growth in cloud computing is a double-edged sword, Europe's top cybersecurity agency warned on Thursday.

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) published a new report on the cloud from the perspective of critical information infrastructure protection, just one week after the European Commission announced its plans for a new Network and Information Security Directive.

Under that proposed new law, ENISA would play a key role in helping the European Union's member states share information about security breaches.

ENISA clearly sees the cloud as the area of most concern, given the concentration of users and data and its use in critical sectors such as finance, health, energy and transportation.

"In a few years, a large majority of organizations will be dependent on cloud computing. Large cloud services will have tens of millions of end-users. What happens if one of these cloud services fails, or gets hacked?" asks the report.

It notes that cloud services are themselves becoming a critical information infrastructure.

ENISA executive director Udo Helmbrecht welcomed plans for mandatory breach reporting in the new directive, particularly for cloud services, and dismissed claims by businesses that this would put an undue burden on them. "Companies are always complaining," he said. But he sees breach reporting as essential in protecting critical cloud-computing services.

The report also calls for better transparency regarding logical and physical dependencies -- which critical operators or services depend on which cloud computing services -- and says that governments should include large cloud services in national risk assessments as well as tracking cloud dependencies.

However, the report did find one silver lining to the cloud growing over the IT industry: Cloud computing can provide "resilience in the face of natural disasters and Distributed Denial of Service attacks," it said.

The agency plans to launch a new working group focusing on CIIP and governmental cloud security in the coming months.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags European Network and Information Security Agencyregulationsecuritydata breachgovernmentcloud computinginternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?