Recent research on the emerging definitions of "Cloud," "cloud computing," and "cloud environment" has attempted to identify what customers expect from cloud providers and to find ways to categorize what such providers say they will offer. The idea that purchasing services from a cloud environment may allow technology business decision makers (BDMs) to save money and allow companies to focus on their core business is an enticing proposition in the current economic climate. Many analysts view the emerging possibilities for pricing and for delivering services online as disruptive to market conditions. These market studies and the ensuing dialogue among prospective customers and service providers show certain themes have emerged as potential barriers to rapid adoption of cloud services. Concerns about security, privacy, reliability, and operational control top the list of potential barriers. Microsoft recognizes that BDMs have many questions about these issues including a need to know how they are addressed in the cloud computing environment at Microsoft and the implications to their own risk and operations decisions.
This paper shows how the coordinated and strategic application of people, processes, technologies, and experience results in continuous improvements to the security of the Microsoft cloud environment. The Online Services Security and Compliance (OSSC) team within the Global Foundation Services (GFS) division builds on the same security principles and processes Microsoft has developed through years of experience managing security risks in traditional development and operating environments.
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