Information about how to securely navigate in the public clouds is, well, cloudy. We asked enterprise IT folks and IT consultants what resources they turned to get educated on this particular topic. The responses can loosely be broken down into three categories: niche conferences; big conferences, and authoritative voices accessible on the Internet.
1. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is hosting CSA Congress 2011 in Orlando on Nov. 16 and 17. The CSA is a vendor-neutral organization that is largely credited with driving best practices in cloud security across the industry.
2. Salesforce.com, one of the more trusted public cloud SaaS applications, holds its annual conference called DreamForce in September.
3. An organization called CloudCamp bills itself as an "unconference" and is a series of regional venues where early adopters of cloud computing technologies gather regionally to exchange ideas. In the fourth quarter of 2011, there are upwards of 15 events planned around the world.
4. SANS, an information security training organization, has established a new line of courses on cloud security that range from the basic "Cloud Security Fundamentals" and "Virtualization and Private Cloud Security" -- both of which are slated to take place in New Orleans in January 2012.
Big security conferences
The major security conferences have all integrated classes relating to the cloud into their session tracks. While many of the 2012 agendas are not yet formed, industry analysts and security practitioners interviewed, say they expect it still to be a hot topic at trade shows.
5. First up in North America is RSA in San Francisco in February. RSA is holding its European conference in London this week and in Beijing in November.
6. Several users said that if you really want to know the state of security in the cloud, you should attend the Black Hat conference, which next will take place in late July in Las Vegas.
On the Web
Among the countless number of blogs out there talking about cloud security, two repeatedly stood out in our informal survey of sources.
7. The first is authored by Ed Haletky, owner of the analyst firm AstroArch Consulting. Haletky's blog appears on the site, TheVirtualizationPractice.com and writes under the pseudonym Texiwill.
8. The second popular blog called Rational Survivability and written by Chris Hoff, who describes himself as a security professional with "20 years of experience in high-profile global roles in network and information security architecture, engineering, operations, product management and marketing with a passion for virtualization and all things Cloud." He's is employed by Juniper Networks, but his opinions are his own.