Cloud Fears Are Overblown, Says U.S. CIO

Kundra contends that security concerns are exaggerated in part to discourage competition.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security isn't afraid of the public cloud.

Indeed, DHS CIO Richard Spires said the agency is seeking a cloud computing provider to host public websites run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

And, he added, the department's use of public cloud technology is likely to grow.

Spires predicted that several other government agencies will be turning to the cloud and trust providers to handle more and more sensitive information in the coming years, particularly as the government moves to create a cloud security certification system.

"I am a believer that we are going to, over the next few years, really solve a lot of the cybersecurity concerns that we have with cloud-based services," said Spires.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, who has made cloud adoption a priority for federal agencies since his appointment in early 2009, suggested that many of the security fears that have to date discouraged widespread government use of cloud services are exaggerated.

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