Businesses Face Security Issues With Cloud Service Providers: Report

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

A top concern in adopting cloud computing is worry over security of data or cloud infrastructure.

Most enterprises face apprehension over adopting cloud computing, and with good reason, according to a recent global cloud security survey conducted by Trend Micro. Nearly half (43 percent) of enterprise IT decision-makers reported a security lapse or issue with their cloud provider within the last 12 months.

The global survey of 1,200 United States, UK, Germany, India, Canada and Japan IT decision-makers uncovers the insecurities and concerns surrounding their journey to the cloud. It confirmed that, on the whole, enterprises are moving toward the cloud at a brisk pace and are initiating a giant multiplicative wave of new deployments. Although slightly more than 10 percent of the respondents currently have cloud computing projects in production, close to half are either implementing or piloting new cloud applications.

Despite cloud computing's growing popularity in most countries, confusion is still at play among enterprises, some of which don't recognize what cloud computing services 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 that their company has no plans to deploy any cloud computing service – a contradiction.

"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 for Trend Micro. "On top of that, some respondents didn't even know they were using the cloud, much less securing it. Given that many cloud service providers do not adequately add IT resources to security, the reality is that securing your cloud environment is not an option, it's a necessity."

While security is still the major hindrance toward cloud adoption, more enterprises are now perceiving performance and availability of cloud services to be of near-equal consideration. According to the survey, 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).

"In the past, security concerns were the primary inhibitors to cloud adoption. Now, performance and availability have equal influence over IT decision-makers. As we witnessed in recent data breach incidents, everything is linked – poor security causes downtime, as well as bad performance," said Asprey.

When it comes to safeguarding sensitive data stored in the cloud, enterprises turn to encryption, with 85 percent of respondents saying 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 included in the offering. Nevertheless, most commonly used encryption key management techniques used in the cloud today are vulnerable.