The report noted that many businesses are attracted to cloud computing because of its myriad benefits, which include flexibility, scalability and the possibility of reduced IT expenses.
Nevertheless, a large number of organizations remain concerned about the risks involved in cloud deployment, such as security, availability and performance, the report said.
According to the report, the most widespread concern about cloud computing is the potential for security defects in the technology used by service providers. In the event that a vendor's virtual machines, databases or networks are compromised, the effects on clients could be devastating.
Another important concern related to unauthorized access. Many potential cloud computing users are worried about the possibility that unauthorized individuals may access sensitive customer data.
John Pironti, president of IP architects, told the news provider that IT security professionals have been dealing with a similar set of issues for several decades now. Many of the cloud's security issues existed before cloud computing even became a buzzword.
"It started out with mainframes, and they did it better, but they didn't have the depth and breadth of applications we have today," Pironti said. "In this case, we're using software … where, with mainframes, [security] was designed in the hardware."
According to Pironti, many data protection issues have not changed since the time of mainframes. The first goal of cyberterrorism, he said, is to attack communications. "The adversaries [today] are smarter, better, but they will follow the same basic approach," Pironti said.
While cloud computing security is on the minds of many cloud vendors, awareness is another important challenge for the cloud. According to a recent Newtek study, approximately 71 percent of small businesses have never heard the term cloud computing.