The blurring line between employee data and enterprise data on the same mobile device had been a headache for IT administrators long before mobile device management solutions came along.
As data growth expands beyond the capacity of mobile devices and the need arises for server backend to support web applications, cloud storage and services have become the natural extension of smart devices.
A recent global study on cloud security by BT revealed that data security and trust in cloud-based services are major concerns among IT decision makers in large organisations.
Despite the fact that 60 percent of those surveyed in Hong Kong use cloud storage and web applications for their business, their confidence in cloud security remains very low.
What’s more, recent breaches of celebrity data stored in the cloud (dubbed nude iCloud) have further shaken decision makers’ trust in cloud.
When it comes to using cloud-based services, data security is the main concern for 77 percent of Hong Kong IT decision makers. Forty percent say they are very or extremely anxious about the security implications of these services.
And the lack of confidence is down to more than just technology; more than half (57 percent) of IT decision makers in Hong Kong see trust in third-party suppliers of cloud services as a major concern.
Forty three percent of respondents have the impression that all cloud services are inherently vulnerable and half (50 percent) of those surveyed have experienced a data breach incident where their cloud service provider was the party at fault.
Ironically, despite growing concerns about the security of data stored in the cloud, 56 percent say they continue to use consumer-grade cloud services, rather than those designed specifically for enterprise.
Not surprisingly, cost is one factor that compels them to take the risk of choosing consumer solutions over enterprise-grade cloud offerings. Among Hong Kong respondents 43 percent have the impression that enterprise cloud applications and services are too expensive while 37 percent think mass market public cloud applications and services are as effective as enterprise solutions.
Yet, these doubts are not stopping the rapid increase in the adoption of cloud services worldwide.
Organizations are looking to reap the numerous benefits, including scalability, fast deployment and ubiquitous network access, these services have to offer.
It is an interesting paradox that the survey shows that on the one hand decision makers are concerned about the security implications of public cloud services, and on the other, their buying decisions seem to be driven by short-term cost considerations.
We invite these decision makers to also weigh up the reputational cost and impact on their brand of a cloud security breach.
Enterprise cloud applications and services are designed to help businesses realize the possibilities of the cloud while substantially reducing risks. A timely security check on cloud storage and network can provide substantial savings.
We also suggest organizations undertake a thorough risk analysis before opting for mass-market cloud services.
Different organizations have different appetite for risk and this needs to be factored into the decision buying equation.
They should look for security specialists that can help them make the right assessment for the optimal solution to limit their risks and deliver great performance, whatever their needs may be.
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