Businesses large and small are turning to cloud computing systems to forge leaner, more effective and efficient organizations. Amid explosive growth in the use of Internet-connected devices, deployments of the latest in mobile broadband infrastructure and the fast emerging “Internet of Things,” (IoT) cloud computing is becoming the core of a new generation of information systems (IS) architecture.
The Growing Cloud
Global shipments of smart connected devices, including everything from PCs to wearable electronics and household appliances, surpassed 1 billion in 2013 and are expected to approach 1.8 billion this year.
As these devices become a part of every day life, they span the divide between work and home, creating problems for corporate IT security departments. The BYOD, “Bring Your Own Device” and BYOA, “Bring Your Own Application” trends put further pressure on IT security departments and spur another step-change in the evolution and growing use of cloud computing services.
From data storage and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the diversity of cloud computing services has expanded to include broader IT outsourcing options – so-called platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
Then there are consumers, who are increasingly making use of cloud services, such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Apple iCloud, Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive, as well as a growing host of niche cloud services providers, such as Dropbox, SugarSync and Box, to store and access digital content from mobile, desktop, small office and home consumer electronic (CE) devices and systems.
Securing the Cloud
Securing all of those electronic devices, networks, proprietary data and information from incursions by cyber spies and criminals is of paramount concern to organizations of all stripes, and it is straining the capacity of the IT resources of even the largest and most experienced. That’s particularly true when it comes to those new to cloud computing or in the early stages of contemplating cloud deployment.
Besides individual end-users, organizations and cloud computing services vendors, the onus of assuring the security of the cloud falls squarely on the shoulders of IT security software and systems vendors.
Proponents contend that making use of public cloud services and data storage solutions from leading providers enhances data and IS security. They point out that leading enterprise cloud computing and data storage service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, OpenStack and IT virtualization specialist VMWare employ the best and brightest IT security experts and devote significant portions of their huge budgets to ensuring they are using the latest threat monitoring and cloud security solutions available.
Are Cloud Security Threats Overblown?
Cloud solutions are still at a stage where they are evolving rapidly, as are cyber threats. That compounds the challenge and raises the risks associated with the quest to realize new revenue streams and gains in productivity, as well as the greater flexibility and lower IT costs, cloud adoption promises.
As occurred with previous waves of IT innovation, such as outsourcing of data processing, storage, applications and customer services to third-party providers, IT industry experts contend that greater familiarity with cloud computing and services will assuage end-users’ concerns.
Zylon firmly believes that while the benefits of the cloud increase with experience, the challenges of cloud show a sharp decrease as organizations gain expertise with cloud.
Security remains the most-often cited challenge among Cloud Beginners (31 percent) but decreases to the fifth most cited (13 percent) among Cloud Focused organizations. As organizations become more experienced in cloud security options and best practices, the less of a concern cloud security becomes.