The debate between public (cloud infrastructure provided to general public) and private (cloud infrastructure operated for particular customer) shows no signs of relenting. Conventional wisdom suggests that a private cloud may be more secure due to a higher level of control and visibility.

However, the problem is that an apples-to-apples comparison is virtually impossible. Public cloud providers will rarely disclose their specific security practices and architectures, which may be viewed as proprietary and thus a source of competitive advantage. They also typically won’t shed any light on how well their security measures are implemented. In contrast, during the course of negotiations, private providers may be more likely to not reveal their practices but also to negotiate in certain protective provisions (as discussed below). Put otherwise, the public cloud service may be as secure, if not more secure, than the equivalent private cloud service, but there isn’t an effective way to confirm one way or the other.

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