The cloud is often recognized as one of today's most disruptive technologies, as it allows organizations to completely reinvent IT and how they do business. While the cloud can improve scalability and network availability, security should not be neglected or impulsively deployed at the last minute. Instead, cloud security should be addressed when decision-makers first consider implementing the technology to avoid hassle and problems down the road.
The pervasiveness of cloud computing suggests the technology is no longer a buzzword but rather a useful and approachable means to tackle IT improvements. According to a recent study by the Cloud Industry Forum, more than three-quarters of companies in the United States are already using the cloud in some way, with the smallest businesses and the largest corporations leading the adoption trends.
For smaller firms, the flexibility of the cloud was cited as its most advantageous quality, while larger companies appreciate the cost savings the technology introduces, the study noted. However, many organizations still have concerns about the technology, with data security identified as the most worrisome. According to the report, 56 percent of businesses using cloud computing said data security was still an issue that IT staff or the cloud vendor needs to address. The second biggest anxiety about the cloud was data privacy, cited by 53 percent of survey respondents.
Organizations in the United States are also uneasy about where the vendor physically stores records, with information integrity and security ranking as the top reason for these worries, Cloud Industry Forum noted.
Although decision-makers don't really have a say in where information is stored in the cloud, they can take alternative steps to ensure the virtual environment is more secure. For example, implementing a secure-by-design plan that incorporates data-centric protection into the foundation of the cloud can make hosted architectures much more secure from external and internal attacks, according to an IT Business Edge report. Companies should also create an educated response team and use specific cloud security software.
Forrester Research noted that the cloud security market, while young, will grow in the coming years as more chief information officers and other decision-makers integrate security into their cloud environments. By 2015, cloud security tools will grow into a $1.5 billion market as such solutions transition from an inhibitor to the reason why businesses want to implement the cloud, analysts said.
As the cloud continues to grow, security concerns will dissipate. Until that time, however, companies should be sure to take the right precautions.
Cloud Computing News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro