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Cloud Security Concerns Stall Projects, Survey Finds

Security concerns tied to protecting massive amounts of data have kept enterprises from starting or finishing cloud or big data projects – but some of the concerns may not be as serious as some believe.

According to a survey of 300 IT professionals by Voltage Security at the InfoSecurity Europe conference, 76 percent of senior-level IT and security respondents said the inability to secure data across big data initiatives concerned them, and 56 percent admitted those concerns kept them from adopting cloud or big data technology.

Security concerns tied to protecting massive amounts of data have kept enterprises from starting or finishing cloud or big data projects – but some of the concerns may not be as serious as some believe.

According to a survey of 300 IT professionals by Voltage Security at the InfoSecurity Europe conference, 76 percent of senior-level IT and security respondents said the inability to secure data across big data initiatives concerned them, and 56 percent admitted those concerns kept them from adopting cloud or big data technology.

“This is a huge roadblock for organizations that are ready to reap the benefits of big data — the majority of large and mid-size organizations are finding that an inability to protect sensitive data within a big data environment is a major concern, so while they may be starting projects, they are abandoning them,” said Dave Anderson, senior director of marketing at Voltage Security, in a statement. “That’s not good for business.”

“Consider the reality of today’s data lifecycle — data travels among users, across states and countries, across different IT systems and end-user devices,” he added. “On top of this are the rules and regulations governing how data is used, stored or moved, whether in data centers, the cloud, or mobile devices. It’s a complex issue, but can be addressed by deploying data-centric security to ensure that data remains not only protected but private, anywhere it moves, lives, and however it is used.”

In some ways, the findings echo those of another study conducted by Luth Research and Vanson Bourne on behalf of CA Technologies. In their The TechInsights Report 2013: Cloud Succeeds. Now What?, the researchers found that security is the number one reason that an application is not moved into the cloud by nearly half of respondents (46 percent).  Still, nearly one-third of respondents said “security has been less of an issue than originally thought” and 98 percent of respondents agreed the cloud met or exceeded their expectations for security across infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS). 

What is clear is that security concerrns have not stopped organizations from adopting the cloud altogether. On the contrary, the CA Technologies study found that 55 percent of the U.S. respondents reporting they have used cloud technologies for three or more years.  U.S. respondents plan to increase spending on cloud at a higher rate than those in Europe, with 48 percent planning to increase spending up to 30 percent and 17 percent more than 30 percent compared to 42 percent and four percent for European respondents.

Large organizations are leading the way in this area, as they are more likely to be using all three types of cloud services – 79 percent of those using IaaS, PaaS and SaaS together in their organizations have revenues of $1 billion or more.

The survey shows that cloud computing is not justa fad, but is being used to drive innovation, speed and performance, said John Michelsen, chief technology officer at CA Technologies.

“As enterprises advance in their adoption of cloud, the desired outcomes evolve, as well,” he said in a statement. “Cost is often considered an early benefit – or even a required result – in order for IT teams to justify moving in the direction of the cloud. Once they show that cloud computing improves the bottom line, they can shift their focus to innovation and other objectives, such as increased performance and enhanced security.”

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