CSA APAC chair: How we select the regional HQ
By Carol Ko 22-May-2012
Singapore and Hong Kong are competing head to head again -- this time for the regional headquarter office location of Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), a not-for-profit organization that aims to promote the best practices of cloud computing security.
At the inauguration ceremony of Cloud Security Alliance's Hong Kong and Macau chapter at the Hong Kong Cyberport last Thursday, Asia Cloud Forum spoke with CSA's Asia Pacific executives on how the Alliance was progressing with its APAC headquarter location selection.
Ken Low (pictured), chairman of CSA APAC's executive council and director of enterprise security at internet security company Trend Micro, said "It is time to locate the regional headquarter office for CSA because cloud computing is growing so fast in Asia." CSA APAC currently operates 'virtually' from its Singapore chapter office, and is now considering Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia as possible locations for its Asia Pacific (APAC) headquarter. CSA will make its final decision by the end of June 2012. Below are the excerpts of the interview with Low:
Asia Cloud Forum: What are CSA's criteria of selecting the Asia Pacific headquarter?
Ken Low: In selecting the APAC headquarter location, we'll look at CSA's middle and long term roadmap as to how it can grow in the country.
Our selection criteria include government support, industry support, and the existing infrastructure of the country, which comprises transportation, internet and the legal framework. At these levels, Singapore and Hong Kong, both being the key markets in APAC, are world-class locations. In fact, we've been discussing with their governments for months.
Other than Singapore and Hong Kong, we are open to consider other options and opportunities, such as China, India, Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia. We may even set up more than one office in APAC.
What does CSA hope to achieve with the Asia HQ?
Low: With the Asia HQ, we hope to:-
- Increase CSA's research capacity; [Editor's note: according to Aloysius Cheang, managing director, Cloud Security Alliance Asia Pacific, CSA currently has 30 ongoing research projects "at any one time," and an additional 100 research projects "untouched."]
- Expand the work of setting cloud computing standards and guidelines;
- Educate the public on cloud computing security -- the general fear in cloud computing is largely due to one's ignorance about cloud security;
- Conduct cloud security threat research -- this is an ongoing battle, because cloud security threats evolve constantly; and
- Research on virtualization and data center security. This is an important area because cloud computing would not be possible without virtualization.
What are your expectations of the newly set up CSA Hong Kong and Macau chapter?
Low: I hope the new Hong Kong and Macau chapter can continue to grow in terms of membership. At present, the founding team has 20 volunteers representing different companies.
In the coming months, we hope to register the CSA Hong Kong and Macau chapter in Hong Kong as a society or an association. By giving it an official entity, we hope to create better credibility and recognition for the chapter, so it can transact at a higher level.
And hopefully, we can organize a CSA Summit in Hong Kong in the future, and make it a premier industry event for cloud computing security.
What's your advice for Hong Kong companies that remain hesitant in adopting cloud services?
Low: My advice for companies in Hong Kong is: look beyond security concerns. Consider the tremendous benefits of cloud computing. The DotComs have made it -- despite at some dangerous moments -- but they eventually succeeded.
And some of the most successful companies today have been leveraging cloud computing well. Look at Salesforce.com, a software-as-a-service provider. How many companies are benefitting from it without buying the software? Has anybody asked if Salesforce.com was secure?