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GovIT Authors: Kevin Jackson, RealWire News Distribution, Xenia von Wedel

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Security, GovIT

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Government SaaS Entrepreneur

What are these high security standards, where and how are they defined?

As the name suggests our Government SaaS Entrepreneur program tailors their venture accelerator for apps for the public sector.

Examples of apps that have already gone through this process include Huddle IL3, referring to it being suitable for the UK’s information security classification IL3. This has resulted in the Huddle app grabbing the lions share of the G-Cloud market.

In this interview with Dave Nicholl, CIO for Ontario Province, talks about how they would consider this type of service for key requirements like their Drivers Licence applications, with a critical point about security:

“Typically, software as a service providers don’t create applications tailored for governments, he said. That said, “if we could find a drivers [licence] system that was software as a service we’d absolutely look at it,” he added – if it had adequate security.”

Secure Government SaaS – Specifications

So what are these high security standards, where and how are they defined?

This is the purpose of our new OASIS open standards group, called PACR, read more here in the launch briefing. This encompasses:

  • Cloud Security Alliance best practices - The CSA provides a comprehensive framework for securing Cloud environments, the backbone of which is the use of encryption at different levels: Encrypting VMs, data at rest and also in transit from the Cloud to the corporate data centre.
  • Cloud Identity Ecosystem - In the USA the NSTIC experts are pioneering the ‘Identity Ecosystem‘, where online service access is streamlined for citizens through “Social sign-on”. Microsoft provides a thorough expanation of how Government can apply these principles and technologies in this PPT presentation (42-page PDF)
  • Cloud Archiving and Compliance – A critical piece for governments is the Cloud Providers ability to meet their compliance needs. In line with standards like ISO 27037 this encompasses being able to verify digital evidence-ready record keeping, implementing litigation holds, maintaining an always-on irrefutable record of all transactions and other chain-of-custody features required for e-discovery.

Service Innovation and Solution Accelerators

The above technical capabilities are enabled by an ecosystem of vendor partners offering new technology products, that can be adopted by Cloud Providers and integrated into their environments to achieve a Government Secure SaaS platform.

This opens up opportunities for new service innovations, which can be pre-packaged into Solution Accelerators that helps entrepreneurs fast-track their venture

Guardtime – Keyless Signatures

This solution development process provides a context for the innovations that our Vendor partners are creating.

For example Guardtime has invented ‘Keyless Signatures’ that can play a major role in securing the integrity of information, the fundamental requirement for legally admissible materials.

It can be built into Cloud environments, as described here, and enable a variety of new services relevant to government. For example cMail, for Certified Email, that could be used for financial transactions through to doctors eReferals.

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