Setting the Record Straight: the Cloud and IT Security

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

While the cloud is hot technology and presents more and more business solutions, there is a belief that it lessens IT security. But is it true? The debate continues, but the prognosis is in: studies show that contrary to popular belief, cloud computing can offer better security than in-house IT.

One recent survey showed that 98% of enterprises felt that their cloud met or exceeded their security expectations– no matter what platform they used. It’s clear that many of these enterprises worried about cloud security: one-third reported that security was less of a problem than they originally believed. Even more reported enhanced security as one of their prime objectives when implementing a cloud platform.

Unfortunately, worries about security are still the top-reported barrier to cloud adoption. Surveys like these point to the fact that when properly structured, a cloud environment is often more secure than internal architecture.

Some who argued against cloud security pointed out that more could be done on the vendor’s side to protect clients. But the truth is that no matter where computing takes place– in a cloud environment or in a private data center– there is always the possibility of a breach. No one argues that in-house IT is inherently unsafe because the department could be doing more.

It’s not the platform that provides security. The cloud isn’t necessarily a security risk; it’s how its implemented. Enterprises that have limited in-house IT capability, whether due to budget or staffing, often find that the cloud is safer. While cloud outages can cause real harm, many point out that the incidents that happen within a company vastly outnumber public cloud outages.

No enterprise should look at any technology with a one-size-fits-all mentality. There are IT risks everywhere– no matter what kind of environment is used. Rather than listening to the hype, enterprises should look carefully at their in-house IT solutions and recognize what risks are inherent to their system. Then, they can actually weigh them against the possible security issues of a cloud environment.

While the debate is on-going and many opponents of the cloud still argue that it’s unsafe, the reality is that the cloud itself isn’t a security risk or even a benefit. It’s simply another option– an option that should be weighed carefully.