Alibaba Cloud Computing has been awarded the world’s first gold certification for cloud security by the British Standards Institute (BSI), a business standards company, just as the unit prepares for a bigger push into the financial services sector.
Officials for Alibaba Cloud Computing, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group that builds platforms for companies to manage and store data in the cloud, said the certification was the first ever granted for meeting security standards recently established by the non-profit Cloud Security Alliance’s Security, Trust & Assurance Registry Certification program, called CSA STAR Certification.
CSA STAR Certification was launched in September to allay security concerns companies have when they outsource services to cloud service providers. Alibaba Group Senior Vice President Leo Jiang said the gold certification could encourage more businesses to outsource their data storage, management and networking services to the cloud.
Currently, HP and Pulsant are the only two companies to have received silver awards from the CSA STAR Certification program globally.
While cloud computing is still in its infancy in China, the market for cloud services for Chinese small and medium enterprises is set to grow 54 percent this year to RMB 16.7 billion, according to a Hong Kong media report.
Alibaba Cloud Computing currently provides cloud computing services to hundreds of thousands of Chinese websites as well as e-commerce companies, banks and government bodies. In September Alibaba acquired personal cloud storage service Kanbox to expand its range of consumer-focused cloud computing offerings in China. In August, ChinaSoft International announced a strategic agreement with Alibaba Cloud Computing and the Lishui municipal government for a state-funded cloud project in Zhejiang Province.
Recently, the company has pushed deeper in the financial industry with more banks signing up for its services, among them Xiamen Bank, Wujiang Rural Commercial Bank and Guangdong Nanyue Bank. Some insurance companies, fund companies and brokerage firms have also shown interest in using Alibaba Cloud Computing services, Alibaba Cloud Computing said in a November press release.
According to an IDC report issued earlier this month, spending on cloud services including underlying network and server infrastructure will rise globally by 25% in 2014, reaching over $100 billion. IDC expects a dramatic rise in the number of datacenters as cloud companies try to achieve global scale.