Data security and trust in cloud-based services are a rapidly growing concern for IT decision makers within large retail organisations, according to a new global study from BT.
The BT Security Cloud Survey indicated that security was a key concern for 84% of surveyed retailers when choosing cloud-based services and applications.
While 74% of respondents have adopted cloud storage and web applications, 41% of those surveyed considered all cloud services as inherently insecure, while more than a quarter had experienced a data breach incident where their cloud service provider was partly at fault.
Despite these security concerns, around 61% of large retail organisations have adopted mass-market public cloud services because they are considered equally as effective as those specifically designed for enterprises and less expensive. However, 54% of respondents indicated that they were ‘very or extremely anxious’ about the security implications of mass-market public cloud services.
BT’s study also explored the attitudes to, and the use of, cloud-based services by various enterprises in the utilities, public sector and financial services industries in 11 countries around the world.
In total, 70% of the respondents have adopted cloud storage and web applications, with around half of those surveyed relying on mass-market consumer cloud services. Similar to the retail industry, these consumer cloud services were chosen due to their lower costs. However, half of the respondents admitted that they were ‘very or extremely anxious’ about the security implications of the services, marking a 10% rise from 2012.
“The adoption of cloud services has increased rapidly across the globe and organisations are looking to reap the numerous benefits – such as scalability, fast deployment and ubiquitous network access – these services can offer,” said Mark Hughes, president of BT Security. “It is an interesting paradox that the survey has exposed – on the one hand decision makers are concerned about the security implications of using public cloud services but on the other, their buying decisions seem to be driven by short-term cost perceptions.
According to Hughes, organisations should carry out a thorough risk analysis before opting for a mass-market cloud solution to ensure they weigh up the cost of investing in cloud services against the impact a security breach could have on the reputation of their brand.
“Enterprise cloud applications and services are designed to help businesses realise the possibilities in the cloud while substantially decreasing risk,” said Hughes. “Every organisation has a different appetite for risk and this needs to be factored into the buying decision equation. Our security specialists can help them make the right assessment for the optimal solution to limit their risks and deliver a great performance, whatever their needs may be.”
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