Along with interoperability, cloud security protocols and features will be a major focus of discussions at the upcoming Cloud 2011 conference, as announced by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The IEEE believes the security measures already used by cloud computing platforms are just as secure as their desktop equivalents. Accordingly, they are confident enough in this assesment to label interoperability as the biggest challenge facing cloud computing moving forward.

"Security in the cloud is no different than security issues that impact on-premises networks," said Elisa Bertino, professor of computer science at Purdue University and IEEE fellow. "Organizations are not exposing themselves to greater security risks by moving data to the cloud. In fact, an organization's data is likely to be more secure in the cloud because the vendor is a technology specialist whose business model is built on data protection."

One security standard changed by cloud computing is user authentication. According to Computerworld UK, a report entitled the Identity, Entitlement and Access Management Commandments, was recently published to help organizations define their system access parameters.