Firms Still Wary of Storing Sensitive Data in the Public Cloud

By: Jeff Bertolucci| - Leave a comment

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The cloud has many virtues, but the majority of enterprises remain skeptical of public cloud security. A recent survey of 650 IT professionals by Stratoscale, an Israel-based cloud infrastructure company, found eight out of 10 respondents avoid running sensitive data, workloads and apps in the public cloud and fear being locked into one cloud vendor. The study concluded that even as more enterprises adopt hybrid cloud models, they remain wary of migrating to a public environment.

Hybrid Cloud View

The value of a hybrid cloud strategy can vary significantly depending on how cloud-centric an organization is.

In most enterprises with a hybrid cloud adoption level below 20 percent, the term “hybrid cloud” is generally defined as the ability to move workloads between public and private cloud environments. But when cloud adoption reaches 20 percent or above, organizations tend to focus more on the practical uses of cloud computing, such as finding the most efficient ways to run different workloads on public and private cloud platforms, Stratoscale.

Slow Migration

However, the public cloud is still in its early days. More than half of the enterprises surveyed say they’ve moved less than 20 percent of their workloads to the public cloud, and nearly 15 percent haven’t begun a public cloud migration at all.

Interestingly, enterprises with less than 100 employees are further along with public cloud adoption. Although many large organizations that support more than 10,000 employees have started their cloud migration, they have the slowest rate of progress: 70 percent have migrated less than 20 percent of their workloads to the public cloud, the survey found.

Security Concerns

Security remains the No. 1 reason why enterprises stick with the private cloud. Meanwhile, the survey found that public cloud security improvements and cost reductions are the two main factors that would make the private cloud redundant or unnecessary to enterprises.

“The findings from our survey confirm what we’re hearing from our customers — although many have started their journey to the public cloud, the vast majority of companies are still running mission-critical workloads and sensitive data in private solutions, primarily for security reasons,” said Ariel Maislos, CEO at Stratoscale. “It’s clear the hybrid cloud model represents the near and long-term future for most enterprises, regardless of size.”

Concerns about security in the public cloud aren’t new. In a recent IDG survey of 925 IT experts, 53 percent of respondents reported that their top worry was not knowing where their data will be stored. Meanwhile, 52 percent named cloud security as their top concern, while 44 percent cited the potential shortcomings of vendor lock-in.

On the plus side, public cloud security is improving rapidly, as is its reputation among IT professionals. Gartner forecasts that by 2020, public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service workloads will encounter at least 60 percent fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers.

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About The Author

Jeff Bertolucci

News Writer

Jeff Bertolucci is a Los Angeles-based journalist specializing in technology, digital media, and education. His work has appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance, InformationWeek, PCWorld, Macworld, The Saturday Evening Post, The Los Angeles Times and many other publications.