Digital Planet: Cloud Computing Technology: Why Security Matters

In its early years, cloud computing technology was regarded as an information security issue waiting to happen. While the cloud remains an outstanding IT security concern, its benefits are outweighing these concerns. A recent survey from the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) determined more firms are seeking ways to secure their cloud technologies than ever before. This offers prime opportunity for cloud service providers (CSPs) to help their clients pinpoint solutions to their cloud security challenges.

Cybersecurity Standpoint

According to the survey, a growing number of midsize and enterprise companies are using software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service solutions for business growth. According to a Network World article reporting on the ESG research, firms once skeptical of the concept of cloud security are coming to see the light and focusing on how they can expand their current cybersecurity skills to monitor cloud activity and create effective security policies.

However, cloud security is still proving to be a challenge. The ESG study reported 32 percent of information security professionals note they use various public and private cloud solutions, which makes it harder to coordinate security. IT professionals are also quick to point out that the cloud can worsen problems among IT groups. Additionally, cloud security might not always align with physical assets, making it difficult to troubleshoot security controls in the cloud. To complicate things, the process of workload migration can be a struggle as well.

Gaining Confidence

The fact that the cloud offers significant benefits has led firms to seek out swift means of addressing their security apprehensions. This is an area on which CSPs can look to capitalize. CSPs that provide consultation to clients and assuage their security fears will see higher adoption rates and, as a result, greater investment in cloud technology. CSPs must concentrate on data protection and data management issues, such as helping clients understand that they have control over their respective data locations. Firms may be concerned about user abuse at the cloud-provider level, and CSPs can identify and employ authentication controls to prevent potential abuse. Additionally, firms often harbor concerns about vulnerabilities that can occur when an infrastructure is shared.

As a result, CSPs are afforded the opportunity to present them with automated and consistent security solutions suitable for large-scale and public cloud deployments. CSPs should also consider that firms are using various public and private cloud solutions, which complicates security matters. CSPs that can provide solutions that consider the joint use of public, private and hybrid cloud computing within a firm’s infrastructure stand to gain an advantage over competitors that do not provide comprehensive solutions.

Winning Cloud Clients

CSPs that wish to outpace the competition in the ever-growing cloud computing technology space should present offerings that take into account data sets that extend far beyond just compliance data. Firms face a variety of challenges these days, whether they are deciding the type of data protection to use or considering security solutions that comply with their cloud deployments. Threat levels are higher than ever before, and CSPs that prove they can go above and beyond will win new business.

By Marissa Tejada

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