Cloud confusion as breaches pile up

According to survey, security remains a top concern for a large portion of cloud users with almost half suffering breaches over the past year

07/12/2011


Confusion over the definition of cloud computing remains today, but what is not in doubt is the issue of security remains a top concern as almost half of cloud users have suffered some type of breach over the past year, according to a new survey.

The survey found slightly more than 10 percent of the respondents currently have cloud computing projects in production, and close to half are either implementing or piloting new cloud applications. Trend Micro conducted the survey, which polled 1,200 decision makers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, India, Canada, and Japan.

Confusion remained over what cloud computing services really are.

When presented with a list of cloud computing services, 93 percent of the respondents said they are currently working with at least one of them. And yet 7 percent of the same respondents said their company has no plans to deploy any cloud computing service.

“Based on our data, we see about five times more cloud applications coming online in the next few years, yet 43 percent of existing cloud users had a security incident last year,” said Dave Asprey, vice president of cloud security at Trend Micro. “On top of that, some respondents didn’t even know they were using the cloud, much less securing it.”

While security is still the major hindrance toward cloud adoption, more enterprises now perceive performance and availability of cloud services to be of near-equal consideration. The top barriers respondents see in adopting cloud computing services are concerns over security of data or cloud infrastructure (50 percent) and performance and availability of cloud service (48 percent), according to the survey.

When it comes to safeguarding sensitive data stored in the cloud, enterprises turn to encryption. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they encrypt data stored in the cloud. And before taking the plunge into cloud adoption, more than half of survey respondents said they would be more likely to consider a cloud provider if encrypted data storage were part of the offering.