New survey reveals mixed bag for IT security

April 25, 2012

As many companies implement cloud computing for its myriad benefits, more organizations are conducting studies to pinpoint the success of security initiatives. While the new technology can certainly be secured, some businesses are failing to adequately protect their data, a new PricewaterhouseCoopers study revealed.

According to PwC's Global State of Information Security Survey, respondents listed massive declines in security-related capabilities for a variety of different categories. These included personnel background checks, privacy policies, accurate inventory and identity management strategy, all of which could be disastrous holes when it comes to cloud computing use.

Though these responses were disheartening, 72 percent of respondents felt either very confident or somewhat confident that security procedures and policies are sufficient. This raises an interesting problem, especially when it comes to new technology.

The Identity Theft Resource Center cites that through the first four months of this year, U.S. businesses have experienced 57 data breaches, causing the loss or exposure of more than 3.3 million sensitive files. Businesses haven't been the only victims, as the ITRC explained the medical and healthcare industry has experienced 45 data breaches resulting in almost 1.5 million compromised files.

Successful cloud security is certainly achievable, but is contingent upon strong practices and understanding of the technology among all its users. Cloud security software is an excellent place to begin, as many products are user friendly.

While the PwC survey found only 39 percent of respondents said business continuity and disaster recovery were adequately established at their respective organizations, the cloud can be a great answer to this problem. As data is hosted on virtual servers, data held in the cloud would be impervious to the damages as long as the proper security measures are in place.

-McAfee Cloud Security