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September 28, 2010

Bridging the Cloud-Based Application Divide

Nicole Hemsoth

Software and risk analysis firm Veracode announced that over the past 18 months, over half of the applications sent to them for extensive testing were unable to meet minimum security standards, even when the company downgraded some of its standards for applications that did not require exhaustive security requirements.

According to leaders at Veracode, this is in part due to the fact that building web or cloud-based applications requires an extra set of skills and a new range of expertise, not to mention far more time than some in-house developers want to commit to retooling applications that have been running without fail on dedicated servers.

As Samskriti King of Veracode noted, “Unfortunately, developers trained with software that’s generated and used in one location with a single set of servers often don’t understand the precautions needed for Web applications that take code, data, and elements of the interface from many servers.”

CEO of Virtacore Systems, Thomas Kilbin told Network World that his customers are moving back office apps to the private clouds without developing applications that are built to work in a cloud-based model. This exposes them to a far greater number of threats because many developers don’t want to have to rewrite all of their applications that are only running in the cloud for “bursty” periods and are only doing so to save money.

Kilbin also noted that the cloud “is more threat-rich than the shared hosting model, mainly because in shared hosting the core OS and apps—php, perl, mysql—are kept updated by the service provider. In the cloud, the customer has to keep the core OS updated, along with the application stacks, in addition to their code” which can be a major undertaking that some teams don’t have the time or expertise to handle.
 

Full story at NetworkWorld