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Improved trust will speed cloud adoption

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Organisations trust the cloud more than they did previously, but there are still concerns around compliance and with education on the security risks.
Intel Security recently released “Blue Skies Ahead? The State of Cloud Adoption”, a global report advocating the need for technology vendors to help businesses, governments and consumers understand the implications surrounding the growing adoption of the cloud.
With a majority (77%) of participants noting that their organisations trust cloud computing more than a year ago, just 13% completely trust public cloud providers to secure sensitive data. These findings highlight improved trust and security are critical to encouraging continued adoption of the cloud.
“This is a new era for cloud providers,” says Raj Samani, chief technology officer of 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 into realising the benefits that cloud computing can truly offer.”
The cloud already has a strong impact in the daily lives of many people and businesses, with an ever-growing number of activities performed on digital devices leveraging cloud computing in some way. The increasing use of the cloud is underscored by our survey, which found that in the next 16 months, 80% of respondent IT budgets will be dedicated to cloud computing.
Survey results also highlight:
* Cloud investment trends: A majority of organisations are planning on investing in infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) (81%), closely followed by security-as-a-service (79%), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) (69%), and lastly software-as-a-service (SaaS) (60%).
* Security and compliance: A majority of respondents (72%) list compliance as the primary concern across all types of cloud deployments, and only 13% of respondents noted knowing 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 less than a quarter (23%) 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, however 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 one-third (34%) 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 cull shadow IT activity, 52% of the lines of business 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, with a majority (58%) of respondents surveyed in Orchestrating Security in the Cloud noting that shadow IT has 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%), Web protection (41%), anti-malware (38%), firewall (37%), encryption and key management (34%), and data loss prevention (31%).
“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.”