The Cloud Industry Forum says warnings from Get Safe Online about rogue anti-virus marketing campaigns underline the need for a code of practice for website content and cloud service providers.
Criminal gangs are exploiting security-conscious internet users with rogue anti-virus scams, according to the latest annual report published the UK's national internet security initiative at the start of Get Safe Online week 15-19 November.
One in four UK web users has been targeted by one of the rogue AV scams, the report said. This was done either through cold calling the user, pretending to be from a reputable IT company, or web pop-ups, tricking users into downloading and paying for spurious anti-virus protection, which proves to be malicious.
An official code of practice will help to filter professional companies from bogus operators, said Andy Burton, chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and chief executive of Fasthosts
"One of the biggest challenges online today is to have clear understanding of who is actually behind any website that a consumer transacts with," he said.
Due to the rising number of IT threats, there is a lack of confidence in cloud-based or online solutions. Over 90% of UK businesses see a code of practice as "essential" or "important" in driving the cloud, said Burton.
"Our goal is to address these end-user concerns by improving awareness and accessibility of key information about the organisation behind the website, to ensure you know who you are dealing with, where they are based, how to contact them and how they operate," he said.
A code of practice has been part of the CIF's mission since its inception in 2009 for promoting trust, security and transparency within the cloud computing services industry.
In August, the CIF completed a public consultation on a draft UK code of practice, and plans to launch the code of practice on 22nd November 2010.