VeriSign has been chosen to provide cloud-based security and authentication for the Windows Azure platform.Can Windows Azure Deliver on IT's Interest in it?Cloud Security: Danger (and Opportunity) AheadVeriSign secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates and VeriSign code signing certificates will allow Microsoft to safeguard cloud-based services and applications developed and deployed on the Windows Azure platform.Windows Azure platform consists of many components. The first is the Windows Azure, a unique operating system in the cloud and the second is SQL Azure, a fully relational database in the cloud.The platform also comprises the Windows Azure platform AppFabric service bus and Windows Azure platform AppFabric access control. This set of pre-integrated, higher-level application services allow developers to deploy and manage composite applications spanning both server and cloud in an easier manner.Assures enterprise usersMicrosoft's cloud-based services and applications are widely deployed across the world. They are known for their ability to aid organisations to rapidly respond to the changing demand for IT resources. These offerings also lower IT costs and complexity.The elastic and dynamic Windows Azure platform is equally popular because it provides a rich environment enabling developers to quickly build innovative solutions.Cloud platforms such as Windows Azure can be accessed by users from anywhere on the Internet. While this is convenient, it also increases the challenge of reliably securing the cloud. Also, this seemingly easy process demands an infrastructure that can scale on demand.This is the reason why Microsoft chose VeriSign, a trusted provider of Internet infrastructure for the networked world. Its VeriSign SSL certificates assure enterprise users that applications running on Windows Azure are secured by strong SSL encryption.Other benefits of VeriSign SSL are that it can protect data moving between users, applications and servers. Moreover, it provides critical authentication between users and cloud-based servers.Protection from hackersAccording to VeriSign officials, developers of Windows Azure applications can sign their code with VeriSign code signing certificates. Once it is done, end-users are signalled that the applications come from a trusted publisher.Code signing certificates apply a digital signature to code and if a user sees a broken digital signature, he immediately comes to know that the application has been tampered with or modified. The digital signatures thus help protect users from threats posed by hackers or malicious code.The administration of SSL certificates and digital signatures is simplified by VeriSign's certificate management solutions.Doug Hauger, general manager of Windows Azure at Microsoft, said his company is delighted that VeriSign is providing a safe and secure environment to Windows Azure platform developers and end-users."Enterprises and consumers expect world-class security from a global platform like Windows Azure, and VeriSign SSL and code-signing solutions will ensure that they get it," said Fran Rosch, senior vice president of authentication at VeriSign. "As a pioneer of cloud-based solutions, VeriSign has a unique understanding of what it takes to protect this platform and those who rely on it."