The misconceptions of public cloud security

Chris Hill from the EMEA region at Barracuda explains how organisations across the globe are waking up to the transformative possibilities offered by the public cloud. But success hinges on a number of security considerations

By Guest on 21 November 2017
The misconceptions of public cloud security

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2017 issue of The Record.

The drive for greater IT efficiency, business agility, and productivity has become an increasingly urgent one – especially since those businesses that tap the cloud effectively begin to pull ahead of their rivals. Yet, anecdotal evidence and quantitative surveys tell us that security is still a major barrier to greater cloud adoption.

From the WannaCry ransomware epidemic, to revelations of catastrophic data breaches at Yahoo, to the devastating cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee, the past year has been a cautionary tale for IT security bosses everywhere. These incidents (and many like it) remind us of the scale and breadth of online threats facing organisations, whatever their size or sector.

Barracuda Networks decided to find out more, with an in-depth look at the state of the public cloud across EMEA – how extensively it’s used, for what purposes, and where the key security challenges lie. We commissioned Vanson Bourne to interview 550 IT decision makers from organisations across EMEA using a public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). We found that interest in the public cloud continues to grow, with 20% of responding organisations’ annual IT budgets currently being spent on cloud deployments. They’re using services provided by several vendors and for a variety of reasons, including the storage of sensitive data.

However, with 60% of firms having already been hit by a cyberattack and an additional 26% expecting one in the future, security concerns understandably loom large. Less than half (45%) of respondents believe that their public cloud IaaS provider completely offers strong protection when it comes to accessing cloud applications.

The survey also reveals that there’s a concerning lack of understanding of the Shared Responsibility Model, a key requirement of most IaaS providers, which states that cloud customers must provide much of the security themselves. 64% of respondents believed that the cloud platform provider is responsible for securing their data, 61% applications and 60% their operating systems’ – startling statistics considering current threats. This needs to change if organisations are to create the secure foundation on which public cloud success and business growth must be based.

The bottom line is that organisations are continuing to invest in public cloud projects, but they need a trusted vendor-neutral partner to help them navigate the choppy waters of cybersecurity if they want to minimise risk in the process. With sweeping new European data protection regulations landing in May 2018, no organisation can afford to ignore security today.

Chris Hill is director of business development for the EMEA region at Barracuda

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