Public Cloud Stokes Trust Issues

Businesses may be subscribing to cloud services in droves but many IT pros are increasingly casting a suspicious eye, a recent study from the SANS Institute shows.

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Cloud providers may be doing brisk business getting organizations to move IT workloads onto their clouds, but they're also sowing the seeds of mistrust.

Given the tens of billions of dollars pouring into the cloud services and software market each year, it seems that cloud companies have proven that they can be trusted to with an enterprise's critical business data. Not so fast, suggests a recent study from the SANS Institute.

The IT security training and certification group surveyed nearly 300 IT professionals and found that a deepening undercurrent of mistrust this year compared to 2015.

This year, 62 percent of those polled expressed concern that data stored on the public cloud may be accessed by outsiders. In 2015, 40 percent said they were worried that they would suffer the same fate. Also In 2016, more than half of respondents (56 percent) said they lacked the low-level access and tools to conduct forensic analyses or detect breaches, compared to 33 percent last year.

"By this time next year we hope to see a lot more support for third-party solutions, better access for forensic analysis, and more openness about the security controls and processes cloud providers use," said the survey author's, SAN analyst Dave Shackleford, in a statement. "Cloud providers are improving, but they're not moving fast enough to address the needs of enterprises that continue to migrate sensitive data into the public cloud."

There's good reason for IT pros to be concerned: cloud services are awash in sensitive data.

Forty-eight percent of respondents use the public cloud to store employee data and 24 percent do the same for customer financial information. It's a given that sensitive data is coursing through the cloud email and messaging services that 27 percent of organizations use and the collaboration and document management apps used by 17 percent of those surveyed.

This year, organizations were less likely to store their business intelligence data on the cloud compared to 2015 (41 percent vs. 52 percent). Similarly, fewer business records (38 percent vs. 52 percent) and health records (24 percent vs. 19 percent) made their way to the cloud this year. Interestingly, businesses remained steady in their use of the cloud as a means to store intellectual property (35 percent).

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.




Tags: cloud computing, cloud security, public cloud


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