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Study: Decision-makers need help securing the cloud

As cloud technologies matured during the past several years, adoption rates have also been on the rise, meaning more organizations are taking advantage of the technology to enhance overall efficiency and performance without dramatically increasing expenses. A new study by Trend Micro confirmed the growing cloud market, revealing that roughly 59 percent of companies around the world have adopted cloud computing in 2012, up from 55 percent in 2011.

The survey also found, however, that many businesses lost sight of protecting mission-critical information in their attempt to implement the cloud as quickly as possible.

"In the race to put data in the cloud to save on overall costs, companies need to be aware of the hidden cost in terms of data security," said Jim Short, general manager at Trend Micro Canada.

Confusion lingers in the evolving cloud market

Trend Micro found that many decision-makers are still relatively unsure of what the cloud is, as when they were handed a list of cloud services, more than 90 percent of respondents said they were using at least one of them, even though 9 percent said they had no intention of using the cloud. This means that many businesses are using the cloud, even if they don't know it.

Approximately 53 percent of survey respondents also said data security issues were the primary factors holding them back from adopting the services within their organization. However, the same amount said they would consider using cloud computing if service providers took a more hands-on approach and helped raise awareness and strengthen security within the virtual environment.

"Cloud providers are not doing enough to secure current cloud services and enterprises need to broaden their security policies to protect applications and data stored in the cloud as strongly as they protect these within the company's internal infrastructure," Short said.

How to keep sensitive records out of harm's way

A separate report by Bank Info Security suggested that companies take the appropriate measures to ensure their cloud storage environments are as protected as those off-site. To do so, decision-makers need to establish a level of accountability and access management, guaranteeing that only authorized individuals can view confidential records and are held responsible for those files in their possession.

As the cloud matures, leveraging it could potentially become inevitable for all organizations, which means watching the transforming threat landscape will be an important aspect of keeping the cloud safe.

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