Companies struggling to uphold security in the cloud
Friday, November 09, 2012
Cloud computing is reshaping the IT industry as more businesses leverage the technology to lower operating costs and improve productivity. However, some companies are still neglecting one of the most important needs when it comes to the cloud: security. Symform recently surveyed nearly 500 firms of various sizes and industries and found that nearly 20 percent of participants have no security protocol for employees and departments using the cloud.
Despite this result, more than 60 percent of organizations still allow their staff members to use the cloud even without this protection. One of the main reasons behind this is the fact that many businesses are dealing with increasing levels of data from the consumerization of IT and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement, according to Symform. As a result, firms simply do not understand how to shore up security to reflect these trends.
"This research validates how cloud applications and services are being purchased and managed increasingly by non-IT departments, and illustrates the need for IT to reclaim control from a policy and governance standpoint while still enabling the business to benefit from the cloud's agility and cost-effectiveness," said Symform Vice President of product management Margaret Dawson.
What can change?
Rather than have departments other than IT make decisions regarding technology purchases, firms must ensure IT leaders are at the forefront, according to Dawson. These decision-makers should be included in how companies establish policy, compliance and vendor requirements. The Symform survey found that a key concern with IT managers regarding the use of cloud computing is access controls.
"Cloud usage is inevitable but loss of control is not," Dawson asserted.
Cloud's impact significant
Looking ahead to 2013, the cloud is expected to hit its stride. Market research firm Gartner recently named cloud computing as one of its top 10 strategic technologies, which are solutions that are ready for widespread use.
IT leaders are encouraged to determine how these solutions will fit within their firms' operations, according to Gartner Vice President David Cearley. However, companies do not have to invest in every one of the strategic technologies, but they should identify the ones that will fit within their operations in the near future.
As long as organizations have effective security protocol in place when using the cloud, the advantages of the technology will be clear.