Lack of visibility in cloud makes IT pros nervous and insecure – report

Unauthorised access and account hijacking are the biggest risks that IT professionals associate with the cloud, according to a new global cloud security survey.

The survey, conducted on behalf of IT auditor Netwrix, asked 600 IT professionals from across the globe about cloud security, their expectations of cloud providers and what measures they take to ensure data security. The IT Pros, who work in sectors including technology, manufacturing, government, healthcare, finance and education said that migrating to the cloud scared them. The majority (65%) of companies are concerned about security and 40% worry about their loss of physical control over data in the cloud, the survey found.

By extension, 35% are presumably not concerned about the insecurity of the cloud, which could be a source of encouragement to many public cloud service providers in this relatively new market.

The biggest fear among the survey group appears to be about unauthorised access with 69% of the respondents thinking this is more likely to happen as a consequence of cloud migration. By the same token, 43% of the sample of IT pros worried about account hijacking once the cloud is being used. However, the number of IT Pros who said they would invest extra in the additional security of a private cloud were in a minority, with only 37% of organisations prepared to put devote money to the cause. A bigger proportion, 44% of respondents, cited hybrid clouds as their preferred transition model from an on-premise infrastructure to a cloud-based model.

When planning to enforce security in the new cloud model, 56% plan to improve identity and authentication management, while 51% will use encryption and 45% of medium and large enterprises plan to audit changes and user activity.

However, despite their fears, these IT Pros seemed to think cloud migration is inevitable with only 13% of organisations rejecting the idea of adopting of cloud technology in the near future. A large minority (30%) are holding out until cloud security mechanisms are improved.

“We wanted to find out what’s preventing cloud adoption,” said Netwrix CEO Alex Vovk, “true visibility of cloud infrastructure will help companies minimise security risks, take back control and accelerate cloud adoption.”