Two Sides of Cloud Security


Two Sides of Cloud Security

By Doug Barney, TMCnet Editor at Large  |  February 20, 2014

In the early days of cloud services, IT largely shunned this new approach. Deep down IT pros worried about losing their jobs, but the reason they gave was usually security problems – true or not.  If they couldn’t see the servers holding all this data, how do they know it’s safe?

Years later cloud providers are the true security experts – they have the money and the staff to safeguard your precious information, and their reputations and business depends on doing just that.

I’d argue that, in general the cloud is more secure than your own shop. Think of how IT shops are staffed. Only the largest shops have dedicated security staffers, and true defense-in-depth infrastructure. Contrast that with large service providers who have robust security teams and the best tools money can buy.

Now surveys are starting to say what I’ve been saying. Most recent case in point is a Microsoft (News - Alert) survey which first reflected the same old complaints.

SMBs who haven’t moved to the cloud cite security as the biggest concern. In fact, 64 percent of those surveyed worry about cloud security and 45 percent fret that they will lose control over their data. Meanwhile 42 percent don’t trust the cloud for reliability.

Talk to shops that made the cloud move and you get the opposite result. That’s what Microsoft did, and its result say that SMBs that use the cloud find a lift in privacy, reliability and security.

Of those that used the cloud, 94 percent found improved security through more current anti-virus and spam controls, and in general having more up-to-date systems.

Cloud Security Hot

Gartner (News - Alert) is one many research houses tracking this area and it says security in the cloud will almost double to from $2.13 billion in 2013 to hit $4.13 billion in 2017.

Managed Security is particularly active. Infonetics Research (News - Alert) focuses on the overall managed security market, which will exceed $9 billion by 2017, this according to the ‘Cloud and CPE Managed Security Services’ report.

And this market is poised to grow over the next five years a rather stunning 45 percent.

Here’s the Rub

The only area where I see the cloud as less secure is government surveillance. These providers are sitting ducks for the NSA. Fortunately the NSA isn’t trying to steal data to use against corporations, or infect your computers. They just want a little looksee, which though not great isn’t nearly as bad as what the criminals can do. And I still think cyber criminals have an easier time breaking into your shop than they do Amazon AWS.

Tell me where I’m right or wrong at [email protected].

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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