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How Challenges to Cloud Adoption Can Be Overcome with Great Rewards

12 Nov 2014 by Christine Kern

Study Shows Security Remains Top Hurdle in Cloud Adoption

In a recent Bitglass Cloud Adoption Report that sampled 81,253 companies across a range of industries and varying company sizes, it was found that strategic, company-wide adoption is taking hold. As new technologies that secure cloud applications become more widely used, these rates are expected to exponentially increase over the next five years. At the same time, a majority of companies are delaying deployment of cloud applications due to security and compliance concerns, according to Virtual Strategy.

“We wanted to separate hype from reality with regard to cloud adoption in the enterprise. We found that while more strategic, company-wide adoption of the cloud is starting to take hold, there are still basic security mechanisms that have not been put into place,” said Nat Kausik, CEO of Bitglass. “As new technologies to secure cloud apps gain footing, we expect accelerated adoption to occur, especially among larger companies and those in regulated industries.”

Current cloud adoption trends show that, CRM, collaboration tools, web applications, data warehousing systems and email are among the most popular choices, according to CIO and the most recent cloud adoption statistics.  

“We believe that the lower rate of cloud adoption among public companies is due to additional regulatory and reporting burdens that private companies do not face. Given the compliance and audit capabilities lacking in most Cloud apps, we expect third-party security technology will be required to help close this gap,” Kausik predicted.

The leading reason why companies are not moving to the cloud is security concerns, according to a Bitglass press release. More than half of large-sized companies (52%) and approximately one-third of small- to medium-sized companies (33%) cite security as their primary concern. In addition, the percentage of companies concerned about security is increasing, not decreasing.

Of the cloud customers sampled, only a small percentage have taken even the most basic security step: implementing Single Sign-On (SSO) to create a manageable authentication mechanism for all users and applications as part of their cloud adoption framework and strategy.

Fortunately, there are basic solutions to resolving some of the greatest cloud threats. Bitglass recommends companies take a strategic approach to cloud, and suggests five security areas that must be addressed first.

  1. Identity & SSO: Adopt a SSO service, which authenticates employees via existing identity management infrastructure.
  2. Visibility: Be comprehensive, providing insight into all user activity across all cloud apps in an organization.
  3. Cloud data security: Data leakage prevention technology enables dynamic redaction of sensitive data, ensuring compliance and data confidentiality. Data tracking technologies allow sensitive data to be downloaded, but maintain visibility of the data anywhere it goes.
  4. Encryption: Regulated industries require that data be encrypted prior to upload to the cloud, and decrypted upon download prior to viewing.
  5. Access control: Invest in solutions that provide the ability to restrict suspicious behaviors and activities via rich, contextual access.

In the final analysis, the report found that for the cloud to reach its potential, businesses must first address security gaps that represent significant threats. But, the report also emphasized that these threats are manageable with the appropriate attention.

In order to address your own business cloud adoption and security needs, it helps to partner with an experienced service provider. Talk to an Insight specialist to build a scalable, cost-effective roadmap that fits your budget and meets your needs.