Professionals still nervous about storing data in the cloud despite advantages

October 19, 2012

Many IT departments are investing in cloud computing platforms to improve efficiency and explore new opportunities. With the cloud, companies can store large amounts of information, access applications and expand their infrastructures.

According to the Financial Post, it is a cost-effective solution - IT professionals who implement a cloud service into their organizations won't have to spend money on equipment for data storage. The cloud also allows small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) to access to applications that were previously available only to larger institutions, which give SMBs the chance to compete with companies of all sizes, Techtarget reported.

Despite released reports and expert opinions on the cloud's benefits, a new survey conducted by CipherCloud shows that business owners are still wary about implementing a service, either because of data security (66 percent), privacy (56 percent), compliance (34 percent) or data residency issues (26 percent). Sixty-six percent of the 50 IT professionals polled said they stopped or delayed a project for one of those reasons. However, business owners may be losing money from cancelling projects.

Employees are also nervous about the risks associated with the cloud. According to the survey, 52 percent of respondents said that data leakage is the most feared threat, followed by unknown risk profiles (34 percent), account or service takeovers (32 percent), vulnerabilities from sharing devices (32 percent), malicious insiders who work at cloud vendors (28 percent) and untrustworthy program interfaces (24 percent).

Many experts agree that companies will run on the cloud in the future. To take advantage of its benefits while keeping information safe, decision-owners should put security measures in place. Business owners should install network security software and firewalls to detect unwanted visitors, use password protection, employ encryption on confidential documents and educate employees about best practices for cloud use. 

-McAfee Cloud Security