Intel Security: more needs to be done to help understand consequences of cloud adoption

Intel Security: more needs to be done to help businesses understand the cloud
Intel Security: more needs to be done to help businesses understand the cloud

Intel Security today released a global report, calling for technology vendors to help businesses, governments and consumers understand the implications surrounding the growing adoption of the cloud.

The report, which discusses the state of cloud adoption, shows that 77 percent of participants noted their organisations trust cloud computing more than a year ago, with just 13 percent who completely trust public cloud providers to secure sensitive data.

The report says these findings highlight improved trust and security and are critical to encouraging continued adoption of the cloud.

The increasing use of the cloud is underscored by the survey, which found that in the next 16 months, 80 percent of respondents' IT budgets will be dedicated to cloud computing.

“This is a new era for cloud providers,” said Raj Samani, chief technology officer at Intel Security EMEA. “We are at the tipping point of investment and adoption, expanding rapidly as trust in cloud computing and cloud providers grows. As we enter a phase of wide-scale adoption of cloud computing to support critical applications and services, the question of trust within the cloud becomes imperative. This will become integral to realising the benefits that cloud computing can truly offer.”

Other key findings include:

  • Cloud investment trends: 81 percent of organisations are planning on investing in infrastructure-as-a-service, closely followed by security-as-a-service (nine percent), platform-as-a-service (69 percent), and lastly software-as-a-service (60 percent).

  • Security and compliance: 72 percent of respondents list compliance as the primary concern across all types of cloud deployments, and only 13 percent of respondents knew whether or not their organisations stored sensitive data in the cloud.

  • Security risks and the cloud - perception and reality: More than one in five respondents expressed their main concern around using SaaS is having a data security incident, and correspondingly, data breaches were a top concern for IaaS and private clouds. On the contrary, results found that 23 percent of enterprises are aware of data breaches with their cloud service providers.

  • The C-Suite blind spot: High-profile data breaches with major financial and reputational consequences have made data security a top-of-mind concern for C-level executives, but many respondents feel there is still a need for more education and increased awareness and understanding of risks associated with storing sensitive data in the cloud. Only 34 percent of respondents feel senior management in their organisation fully understand the security implications of the cloud.

  • Shadow IT, risk and opportunity: Despite IT departments' activity to curb shadow IT, 52 percent of respondents said that some departments still expect IT to secure their unauthorised department-sourced cloud services. This lack of visibility into cloud usage due to shadow IT appears to be causing IT departments concern when it comes to security. Fifty-eight percent of respondents surveyed in Orchestrating Security in the Cloud noted that shadow IT has had a negative impact on their ability to keep cloud services secure.

  • Security investment: Cloud security investment varies in priorities across the different types of cloud deployment, with the top security technologies leveraged by respondents being email protection (43 percent), web protection (41 percent), anti-malware (38 percent), firewall (37 percent), encryption and key management (34 percent) and data loss prevention (31 percent).

“The cloud is the future for businesses, governments and consumers,” said Jim Reavis, chief executive officer of the Cloud Security Alliance. “Security vendors and cloud providers must arm customers with education and tools, and cultivate strong relationships built on trust, in order to continue the adoption of cloud computing platforms. Only then can we completely benefit from the advantages of the cloud.”

The survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne, interviewed 1200 IT decision makers with influence over their organisation's cloud security in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States (350 interviews in the US, 150 interviews in Spain and the UK, and 100 interviews in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France and Germany). 

Respondents were from a range of organisations with 251-500 employees to those with more than 5,000 employees.