Confidence in the cloud increases despite security concerns

December 6, 2012

employers are choosing to adopt the cloud to modernize their organizations and keep up with advances in the digital age. Experts agree that cloud computing services offer users greater flexibility to manage company files and business applications. The cloud is also a cost-effective way to back up data in an emergency. Decision-makers who store documents in the cloud are assured that information will be easy to recover and remain protected from cybercriminals, as long as the proper measures are installed.

Adoption grows
Although some business owners are wary of entrusting confidential files to cloud vendors, a new survey from CloudPassage found that many IT departments have become less concerned about risks associated with cloud computing. About 80 percent of 200 polled IT professionals said they use some form of the cloud - public, private or hybrid - to keep their companies running, Dark Reading reported.

Thirty-six percent of respondents admitted that they take advantage of the cloud to run sensitive applications, and 70 percent said their companies are making plans to adopt it in 2013.

Despite the cloud's growing acceptance, 70 percent of respondents cited network security as the biggest inhibitor for adoption, followed by 45 percent who were concerned about regulatory compliance and 38 percent who said they were worried about losing control of data, the source reported.

Do more to protect documents
Although a lack of security controls may cause employers distress, those who choose to implement the cloud into their businesses' infrastructures may not be doing enough to ensure data protection and prevent loss. According to a separate survey conducted by the IT recruitment firm Robert Half Technology (RHT), 84 percent of 250 polled IT executives said they had concerns about security, however, 55 percent did not analyze safeguard procedures offered by cloud providers, according to the U.K. technology source Computing. The report also found that 10 percent of decision-makers did not put measures in place to protect devices from cyber threats.

Experts suggest that employers invest in anti-malware software and firewalls to minimize the risk of breaches. They should also communicate with cloud vendors to determine the type of security provided by the service and negotiate with providers if any procedures need to be improved.

Passwords and two-factor authentication should also be employed to protect from hackers. Individuals are encouraged to learn about methods cybercriminals may use to compromise a network, and be cautious when opening suspicious emails. If a professional accidentally clicks a link found in a message, a hacker may be able to control a computer and exploit information.

-McAfee Cloud Security