Lack of security measures still hinder cloud computing adoption

Demand for cloud computing systems clearly exists. However, better security, like multi-factor authentication and encryption, are going to be required if cloud computing adoption is going to move forward, according to a survey by PhoneFactor.

The survey included more than 300 information technology professionals from a wide variety of industries and looked at their organizations’ current and planned use of cloud computing, what perceived benefits are driving adoption, and conversely which factors are limiting adoption.

Key findings include:

  • Security is a primary barrier to cloud computing adoption for nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) followed by Compliance (54%) and Portability/Ownership of Data (48%).
  • 42% of respondents indicated that security concerns had held their company back from adopting cloud computing. 30% were unsure, and only 28% indicated it had not been a deterrent.
  • Cloud services were rated only moderately secure or worse: Google Apps, Amazon Web Services, and SalesForce/ were all rated only moderately or less secure by more than 74% of respondents.
  • Preventing unauthorized access to data was the greatest cloud computing security concern. The overwhelming majority of respondents (93%) were at least moderately concerned about preventing unauthorized access to company data in the cloud; more than half (53%) were extremely concerned by it. Fear of the unknown ranked second highest with 89% of respondents indicating they were at least moderately concerned about the inability to evaluate the security of cloud-based systems.
  • What can be done to increase confidence in cloud computing? The top three security measures respondents thought were critical to securing the cloud included: Encryption (84%), Multi-Factor Authentication (81%), and Intrusion Prevention (80%).
  • Reduced cost (65%), Scalability (62%), and Rapid Implementation (50%) are seen as primary benefits to cloud computing. 87% of respondents indicated that they were planning to at least evaluate the use of cloud services.

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