Cloud computing services are progressively becoming critical information infrastructures in their own right - which could lead to serious problems if one of these services fails or is hacked, says the EU's cyber security agency, ENISA, in a report published on 14 February(1).

Cloud computing services ( information in the cloud') allow for the storage, treatment and use of information on remote computers (databases), and for access to this information from anywhere in the world. Large companies are increasingly using cloud computing in critical sectors, such as finance, energy and transport.

"From a security perspective, the concentration of data is a double-edged sword'; large providers can offer state-of-the-art security, and business continuity, spreading the costs across many customers," saidaDr Marnix Dekker, the report's author. "But if an outage or security breach occurs, the impact is bigger...

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