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RSA has launched a set of services designed to foster trust between business and cloud service providers.

Cloud Trust Authority from the security division of EMC is designed to tap into the growing market for cloud computing with a roster of technologies and services, the first of which is an Identity Service. Partially based on VMWare's virtualisation tech, the service will allow businesses to "secure user access and user provisioning to multiple cloud providers via federated single sign-on and directory synchronisation".

Single Sign-On offers the benefits of minimising password management headaches for firms. RSA has taken this idea and applied it to cloud services, such as email. Secure logins to these services will be facilitated via RSA SecurID technology in much the same way as the technology has long been applied to remote access.

A second service, Compliance Profiling Service, will allow businesses to benchmark whether cloud service providers are meeting industry best practice, as defined by industry organisations such as the Cloud Security Alliance.

The two services are collectively designed to give businesses greater confidence in running key enterprise services from the cloud, while giving service providers the opportunity to deliver applications that might otherwise be kept in-house due to either security or compliance concerns.

A beta of RSA Cloud Trust Authority, including both the Identity and Compliance services, will be available in the second half of 2011.

RSA's announcement of the services was one of a slew of announcements of cloud security products and services made at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week.

For example, IBM launched an intrusion prevention appliance rated to work at 20Gbps. The GX7800 is aimed at cloud service providers as well as enterprises. Meanwhile, Symantec said it is making greater use of cloud-based reputation technology in Symantec Endpoint Protection 12, the latest edition of its security client for corporate desktops.

Using cloud-based community intelligence to whitelist known benign apps can reduce the performance overhead of anti-virus scanning by as much as 70 per cent, the security giant claims. ®

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