A current trending decision for more and more organizations is the adoption of cloud services. Without a doubt, there are returnable benefits to this investment: competitive cost advantage, allowing budgets to focus on technology innovation rather than infrastructure, and considerable gains in time management. With anything valuable, in this case data, there are definite security concerns that need to be addressed when leaving sensitive information in the hands of a cloud service provider.
Leaving private cloud security out of an organization’s integrated strategy creates a major security gap and opens their network to security breaches, data loss, intellectual property theft, and regulatory compliance issues. In a recent article by CSO magazine, NASA stated that during fiscal year 2011, they were the target of 47 attacks, with 13 successfully compromising the agencies computers. A General Paul Martin conveyed that, “The need to effectively secure agency data stored in the cloud has emerged as a major challenge to federal agencies reaping the substantial benefits cloud computing offers.”
In a March 2012 survey conducted by InformationWeek, 48 percent of respondents relayed that vulnerabilities in the cloud services themselves were a top concern which is larger than previous years. Unauthorized access of customer information is also a major concern of 50 percent of the surveys IT professionals. These concerns are definitely warranted, and a continuous service to manage these vulnerabilities is essential to maintain a secure level of operations in the cloud.
If you want your cloud vendors to be secure enough to protect your corporation’s most sensitive data, then you have to insist on it, communicate your requirements, oversee the controls, ask for reports and ultimately take shared responsibility for the security of the cloud.