NIST reveals new security documentation for cloud adoption in government

Security issues represent one of the most important barriers to cloud adoption in government. The National Institute for Standards and Technology just released vital documentation that could help public sector organizations tackle cloud security problems and use cloud technologies more easily, Government Computing News reported.

Government organizations considering a move into the cloud may need to think about more than security. They may also want to think about how the technology will impact their processes and invest in business process management (BPM) software to help them align processes with cloud capabilities.

The cloud can have a powerful positive impact on government efficiency when security and process considerations are both kept in mind.

Dealing with cloud security issues
The new Special Publication 500-299 from the NIST, which is currently in draft form, lays out a pathway for government organizations to make an efficient transition to the cloud, the news source explained. The regulation consists of best practices and key advice as to how public sector agencies can take a risk-based approach to using the cloud. As constructed, this special publication takes information and advice from a variety of other standards and consolidates it into a central document that is more approachable and features additional guidance. This creates a more holistic, risk-based strategy for cloud adoption that could position agencies to take full advantage of the technology.

According to the news source, the special publication offers insight for how cloud vendors can meet government requirements, but also puts the responsibility for ensuring regulatory compliance squarely on agencies, meaning organizations need to ensure service level agreements and vendor practices align with security standards. As a whole, the entire document focuses on clarifying many of the security-related issues surrounding cloud computing in government.

Addressing process concerns
With security issues demystified, government organizations may need to think about how cloud computing will impact business processes. A cloud BPM solution can make this process much easier, as the technology provides a framework for process automation and integration across cloud, enterprise social and mobile channels. BPM solutions can give government agencies access to the process automation technology they need to take the groundwork laid by cloud investments and turn it into meaningful operational innovation. This can prove integral to ongoing success as public sector organizations are increasingly tasked with getting more done while spending less.

Cindy Cheng

Director of Product Marketing