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Security services vital to support cloud, say 59% of IT managers

Warwick Ashford

Over half of UK IT managers believe a fully outsourced managed security service is necessary to support the roll-out and management of cloud technologies, a survey has shown.

The poll of IT managers across all sectors by Vanson Bourne revealed that 78% of respondents are concerned about how to migrate to online services securely.

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“As more people introduce cloud services there may be an increase in the use of security in the cloud,” said the survey report.

The report said it is likely that most businesses are trialling the technologies before taking the next step, especially with an issue as important as security.

Only 5% of all IT managers saw no benefit in using a security as a service provider, but all those in the financial sector recognised the benefit of security services.

Just over two-thirds said security service providers should be held responsible for security breaches, indicating that few are willing to accept the security responsibilities of moving to the cloud.

Despite these concerns, nearly half of UK businesses are already running IT services in the cloud due to the advantages of cost reduction and flexibility, according to the poll commissioned by SecureData.

Over half of IT managers said they use cloud services for web content control (55%) and storing data (53%). This increased further in the retail, distribution and transport sectors, where 70% of businesses use the cloud for web content control and 60% use it for storing data.

Roy Illsley, principal analyst at Ovum, said the slow adoption by enterprise customers of cloud computing is down to the perceived threats around the cloud.

“While multiple surveys report security as the number one reason for a failure to adopt cloud computing from end user organisations, security as a service providers prove that the managed services and technology to allay many of these concerns exists,” he said.

Ovum believes that organisations will adopt cloud computing when they have negotiated the internal issues, such as the funding of IT security, and governance and risk management.

Etienne Greeff, managing director of SecureData, said the study highlights that while UK businesses want to move their services to the cloud, all too often they do not have the skills required to do so.

“This is largely due to a lack of trust in the security of the cloud. It is no wonder that businesses still remain uncertain regarding cloud security, as it has never been more important than when data is saved in a public infrastructure,” he said.

According to a report by research firm Gartner, buyers of commercial cloud services – especially software as a service (SaaS) – are finding security provision inadequate.

Contracts need more transparency to improve risk management, Gartner analysts said, with SaaS contracts often having ambiguous terms regarding data confidentiality, data integrity and recovery after a data breach.


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