How Secure is YOUR Cloud?

The Microsoft Marketing Machine is in overdrive touting the security of Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Exchange Online, and their other online services.  Much of the hype is in response to Google’s recent announcement that Google Apps Premier Edition has received FISMA Certification along with both SAS 70 Type I and II certifications.

As of August 26, 2010, Microsoft’s own FAQs for their online services acknowledges the lack of security certifications.

The Standard version of the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite will be seeking a SAS 70 Type II audit attesting to the effectiveness of Microsoft’s internal controls. While our U.S. datacenters maintain a SAS 70 Type II for the physical controls of each facility, the Services (Live Meeting, EHS, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Office Communications Online) themselves do not. Live Meeting maintains both the CyberTrust Service Provider Certification and the CyberTrust Application Certification, which surpasses the control requirements for SOX. The Business Productivity Online Standard Suite Standard implementation is scheduled to undergo the CyberTrust certification within the next couple of months.

Microsoft BPOS Outage Gets Little Attention

When it comes to Microsoft’s BPOS service, we often hear grumblings from the user community about downtime.  Yet, there is little or no press coverage.  Beyond the frequency of scheduled maintenance windows required for patches and security updates, we hear complaints about performance-related outages and emergency maintenance windows for fixes and updates to scheduled patches.

On Monday, August 23rd, Reuters reported that Microsoft’s US Data Centers experiences an outage lasting more than 2 hours … well beyond the 99.9% SLA touted by Microsoft for the BPOS and other hosted services.

That last Gmail outage made headlines on CNN and USA Today.   The Microsoft BPOS outage received relatively little coverage beyond a core set of reports in the IT press.  Maybe there is a difference in expectations?