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February 13, 2017updated 14 Feb 2017 1:34pm

Public cloud security remains in doubt but trust is on the rise

Diminishing ability to view Shadow IT continues to slow adoption.

By James Nunns

Since its inception the public cloud industry has been dogged by a perception of it being less secure, and while many organisations now deploy a cloud first strategy that doesn’t mean the fear factor has gone.

Although the trust and perception of public cloud services continues to improve, as is evident in the continuously growing size of the market, there remain risks and doubters.

According to the Intel Security’s cloud security report, ‘Building Trust in a Cloud Sky,’ those who trust public clouds now outnumber those who distrust them by more than 2-to-1. That’s mainly due to an increased understanding of the risks by senior management.

What this is leading to is more organisations storing sensitive data in the public cloud, with personal customer information the most likely type of data to be stored in public clouds, with 62% of respondents doing so.

However, it’s not all rosy in the public cloud world. An ongoing shortage of security skills is said to be continuing to affect cloud deployments, with almost half or the organisations surveyed citing this as a cause for slowing adoption or usage of cloud services.

While this may be the case, that isn’t stopping 36% of those feeling a scarcity of skills who are continuing with deployments.

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One of the knock-on effects of a slower than expected public cloud adoption is that staff turn to services without the permission of IT. The report found that almost 40% of cloud services are now commissioned without the involvement of IT and visibility of these services has fallen to just under 47%, down from around 50% last year.

Read more: Ransomware: #1 business cyber security threat or media hype?

A large amount of respondents (65%) said that this is interfering with their ability to keep the cloud safe and secure. That’s highlighted by 52% saying that they have tracked malware from a cloud SaaS application.

The growing trust in public cloud services and the continued ease at which these can be deployed is also impacting the makeup of the data centre. Intel Security’s report found that organisations using private cloud only had dropped from 51% to 24% over the past year, while hybrid cloud use has increased from 19% to 57%.

This move is forcing the data centre to adopt an increasingly virtualised, cloud-based infrastructure. Particularly when considering that on average, 52% of an organisations data centre servers are virtualised and 80% are using containers.

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