Security in the Cloud: How Are You Protecting Your Enterprise Data?

October 26, 2011
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Author: Brenda Somich @brendasomich

Author: Brenda Somich @brendasomich

It’s no surprise that SaaS and cloud computing solutions are increasing in popularity. From reduced costs in hosting and infrastructure to increased mobility and accessibility, the benefits are profound. Need proof? A recent study by IDC estimates that spending on public IT cloud services will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 27.6%, from $21.5 billion in 2010 to $72.9 billion in 2015. From Google to Salesforce to Amazon to Microsoft… the cloud is getting fuller and heavier.

While the popularity and acceptance of cloud computing has certainly taken off, new questions are being asked regarding the security of third-party data hosting.  Has the centralization of IT into a few cloud computing platforms made it easier for the “bad guys” to focus their efforts? With valuable information from all departments ranging from marketing to accounting being openly shared with another organization, are your customer preferences, past orders, mailing lists, HR and financials at an increased risk for cyber threat?

Despite this concern, an alarming study by the Ponemon Institute, which surveyed over 900 IT executives across the world, found that about half of worldwide IT organizations said that no one in their organization evaluates cloud computing providers for security. Worse yet, another half said they were pretty sure that no one in their organizations knew about every cloud computing service that end users in their company were storing data on.

You don’t have to be a weather forecaster to predict this impending thunderstorm.

Can you really rely on the cloud to keep your enterprise information safe? What steps has your organization taken to evaluate SaaS or cloud service providers for security?