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Forrester Research recently completed its WAVE study of cloud IaaS providers’ security. Although many IaaS providers were invited only 4 agreed to participate—AWS, Azure, IBM and CenturyLink. The study was thorough and discloses specific factors and how they were weighted when evaluating a provider’s security. The study (as it should) takes a very skeptical position as evidenced in the follow excerpt:

And although vendors tell everyone that they can provide better security than their client organizations could on their own, as adoption rises, cloud security becomes a more critical concern.

Yet, at the end of the day the study’s findings should add to the skyrocketing confidence in cloud IaaS. Indeed even the researchers themselves note that, “Overall, the level of security demonstrated by all of the vendors in this Forrester Wave was impressive.”

So how did the vendors compare? This excerpt summarizes it best

 ■ AWS leads the pack.  AWS demonstrated not only a broad set of security capabilities in data center security, certifications, and network security, but also excelled in customer satisfaction, security services partnerships, and a large installed base. AWS led with the size of its development and technical support staff as well.

 ■   IBM, Microsoft, and CenturyLink offer competitive options.  All of these vendors showed great data center security, a nice level of security attestations, and some level of their own professional services to implement security-related projects. No vendor is focused on single verticals; they all have a mix of financial services, healthcare, government, and media clients.

 Forrester Wave Cloud IaaS Security

All in all the Forrester Wave study is a great resource for firms evaluating cloud IaaS. And although Forrester may rate one service provider the best overall, it definitely pays to look at the criteria and their weighting in the study and decide which criteria are most important to your firm. For example, although AWS beat the competition in almost every category, Microsoft Azure leads the pack in identity and access management (IAM) because they offered better access governance of users and administrators. A bit more detail on the scoring is offered below and the Forrester Wave tool available at forrester.com will allow you to weight these criteria according to your firm’s needs to do your own comparisons :

Forrester Wave Cloud IaaS Security detail

Blue Sentry is an advanced-tier Amazon Web Services (AWS) consulting partner specializing in application and data migrations, expert managed services and virtual desktops. Blue Sentry serves clients globally, with operations in North Carolina and South Carolina.