Cloud Security Still a Concern Heading into 2016

While more enterprises have become comfortable with, and even embrace, cloud computing in 2015, concerns about security associated with the technology remain as the year comes to a close, according to a recent survey by Netwrix Corp.

The Netwrix 2015 Cloud Security Survey found that 65 percent of companies still have security concerns when migrating to the cloud, while 40 percent are still worried about their loss of physical control over data in the cloud.

Netwrix provides IT auditing software for visibility into IT infrastructure changes and data access, with more than 150,000 IT departments worldwide using the solution. For the survey, the company polled more than 600 IT professionals worldwide in technology, manufacturing, government, healthcare, finance, education and other industries.

“We wanted to find out the exact reasons that prevent companies from cloud adoption and taking advantage of all the benefits it offers,” said Alex Vovk, CEO and co-founder of Netwrix, in a press release.

The survey revealed that even though the cloud is not a new technology, the market still has a good potential to grow further if better security is in place, he said.

“Advanced security solutions and true visibility into what is going on across the cloud infrastructure will help companies minimize security risks, take back control over business-critical assets and accelerate cloud adoption,” Vovk said.

The survey found that 30 percent of organizations are already taking advantage of this improved cloud security, while more than 40 percent are ready to invest in additional security to keep their cloud environments safe. Among the technologies that will make the cloud safer, continuous auditing will provide an important advantage to ensure data integrity in the cloud, 71 percent of respondents said.

Companies seem more comfortable with hybrid cloud deployments during the transition from on-premise infrastructure to a cloud-centric model, with 44 percent of organizations preferring this method, according to those polled. Private clouds also seem to be a more secure option for many, with 37 percent of organizations who are prepared to invest in additional security eyeing this option.

As far as the primary concerns organizations have with migrating from on-premise to cloud environments, unauthorized access is top of mind among 69 percent of respondents, while 43 percent said they worried more about account hijacking, according to the survey.

Companies also, naturally, plan to beef up security ahead of their cloud deployments, focusing on internal policies. Fifty-six percent of those polled said they plan to improve identity and authentication management, while 51 percent will use encryption to stay secure while moving to the cloud. Establishing auditing of changes and user activity are part of the security plans of 45 percent of medium-to-large businesses as they move to the cloud, the survey found.

Still, while companies plan to make necessary security investments to move to the cloud, some still balk at adoption, with 13 percent rejecting adoption of cloud technology in the near future. However, this is not to say those opinions can’t be swayed. Thirty percent of these respondents said they would reconsider deploying cloud computing if security is improved.