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Cloud Security Alliance set to launch at RSA

A trade organization dedicated to cloud-computing security has been announced.

The Cloud Security Alliance, whose founding members include eBay, PGP, and Qualys, is seeking to promote the best ways to secure cloud computing and outline how to use cloud computing for the protection of other types of computing.

"The very nature of how businesses use information technology is being transformed by the 'on-demand' cloud-computing model," Dave Cullinane, chief information security officer for eBay, said in a statement. "It is imperative that information security leaders are engaged at this early stage to help assure that the rapid adoption of cloud computing builds in information-security best practices without impeding business."

Cloud-computing leaders Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are not listed on the group's Web site as members. The organization is expected to reveal more information about participating companies at its official launch. This is scheduled to take place at the RSA Conference in San Francisco on April 21, where the alliance will present a white paper titled "Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing."

While cloud computing has been touted as an efficient way to cut costs, organizations including Hewlett-Packard have noted business concerns around ensuring the security, performance, and availability of Internet-based services. Security experts have said cloud computing presents a challenge for businesses, as it calls for a change in the way they think about security.

"Traditionally, if you want to keep data safe you lock it away or keep it underground. Suddenly, you say I have to give it to a third party," analyst Jon Collins of Freeform Dynamics told CNET News sister site ZDNet UK recently.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.