April 17, 2012
While there is little doubt that the cloud will ultimately establish itself as a cornerstone business operations in virtually every industry, concerns still remain. Specifically, many IT professionals remain uncertain over the security of the cloud. A recent Federal Computer Week study found that 60 percent of respondents believe that cloud computing has greater security risks than do on-premises systems. On a scale of 1 to 100 measuring how strongly they associated the cloud with security and data protection, participants rated private clouds at 69 and public clouds at 39.
However, while many believe the cloud represents a security risk and can destabilize a business' IT management, Jeff Kaplan, a leading IT analyst, recently argued that cloud computing actually improves IT department's control over data within an organization.
Kaplan, writing for Internet Evolution, claimed that cloud services can offer IT professionals the means of improving their supervision of various aspects of an organization's network. Enterprise-class cloud services, he argued, allow for better access control, performance measurement and activity monitoring than older on-site network arrangements. Additionally, because of its flexibility and scalability, cloud services can be better tailored to suit a company's particular needs, which further amplifies the degree of management IT departments can attain.
However, these arguments do not mean that moving operations to the cloud will automatically improve a company's IT management. Computer security expert Leon Erlanger emphasizes the importance of IT departments keeping close tabs on the different applications and devices being used to access a company's cloud network in order to ensure its security. Additionally, it is important to establish clear guidelines for a company's employees regarding how to interact with the cloud safely.
-McAfee Cloud Security