The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – New Delivery System
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Down The Drain
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Fog
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Restroom
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Cloud Conclusion

Are Cloud Computing Service Providers Shirking Responsibility On Security?

Are Cloud Computing Service Providers Shirking Responsibility On Security?

Former American President Harry S. Truman famously had a sign on his desk at the Oval Office with the phrase, “The Buck Stops Here!” It signified that it was the President who had to make the hard decisions and bear responsibility for them; he could not pass it on to someone else, being at the head of command. Unfortunately, it seems that cloud computing service providers believe in a completely different ideology.

For them, it’s passing the buck that has become an established norm, especially regarding security. While the recent outage at Amazon has seriously undermined cloud computing’s claims of reliability (See: Lessons from the Amazon Cloud Outage) and a Greenpeace report questioning the technology’s environment-friendliness (See: Environmental Challenges to Cloud Computing), several of cloud computing’s perceived advantages (See: Which Cloud Computing Quality Works For You? ) are under serious threat.

Now, a new report that says that most cloud computing providers don’t see securing customer data as their primary responsibility but seek to “pass the buck” to customers themselves may end up vilifying cloud computing further. Especially since in almost every survey conducted to measure the adoption of cloud computing, security has always been the prime concern holding back wider acceptance (See: UK Lags Behind Other European Nations in Adoption of Cloud Computing).

According to the Ponemon Institute’s “Security of Cloud Computing Providers Study” commissioned by enterprise software vendor CA, most cloud computing service providers paid more importance to cost reductions and rapid deployments than to security. The survey was conducted amongst 127 providers, 103 from the US and the rest from Europe. 65% of the respondents were public cloud providers, while the rest worked on private and hybrid clouds (See: Having The Best Of Both Worlds With Hybrid Clouds and Which is the Safer Cloud – Public or Private? ).

According to the survey responses from managers, director and technical staff for the service providers, more than 50% “do not consider cloud computing security as one of their most important responsibilities and do not believe their products or services substantially protect and secure confidential or sensitive information.” Private cloud providers were found to be more sensitive to security concerns than their hybrid cloud counterparts.

What’s more alarming is their nonchalance on the matter, in spite of awareness of their deficiencies. Over 60% of the respondents expressed lack of confidence in the security of their own services.  In fact, 91% said they don’t provide security-as-a-service from the cloud today, but about one third are considering doing that in the next two years.

If the risk of breach outweighs potential cost savings and agility, we may reach a point of cloud stall, where cloud adoption slows or stops, until organizations believe cloud security is as good as or better than enterprise security,” warned Mike Denning, CA Technologies general manager for security. Matthew Gardiner, CA Technologies director of security, struck a conciliatory note, saying that providers were merely responding to greater demand for cost reduction as compared to security. However, many other surveys offer a contrary opinion.

One of these is the one conducted by the same people who did this survey. According to that survey conducted among cloud computing users as compared to the current one where service providers were the respondents, there is considerable difference of opinion between these two stakeholders. Nearly 70% of users said vendors were most responsible for ensuring the security of cloud resources, whereas only 32% of the current respondents held themselves accountable. The authors of the study recognize this discrepancy and state that “different perceptions about who is responsible for securing the cloud means organizations may be over relying on their cloud vendors to ensure safe cloud computing.”

While there is no denying the cost reductions cloud computing can bring (See: How Cloud Computing Can Save You Money), I believe that service providers are being extremely short-sighted by discounting the importance of security. Even if clients do not explicitly stress on security, something many surveys contradict, the providers should consider the long-term implications of this approach. For example, security breaches can end up costing more money than can be saved in the short term.

Therefore, service providers should not neglect the security aspects of their services. We live in a world under constant threat of cyber-terrorism; it’s in everybody’s interest to take active steps to combat it.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Recent

Cloud Vendor Benchmark 2015: Price-Performance Comparison

Cloud Vendor Benchmark 2015: Price-Performance Comparison

Cloud Vendor Benchmark 2015: 15 Top IaaS Providers  Cloud Spectator has released their Cloud Vendor Benchmark 2015 Part 2: Price-Performance Comparison Among 15 Top IaaS Providers today, cited as the industry’s most comprehensive study. Exposing the influence that performance can have on the overall value of the IaaS environment, this report is aimed at helping…

Finland and The Future of The Internet

Finland and The Future of The Internet

Finlands Internet Future In so many ways, the nations of Northern Europe seem to be a few steps ahead of the rest of the world – countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland are frequently singled out for praise in areas as diverse as education, technology, and sheer happiness (despite the grey skies and bitter…

Technologies That Work Nicely With The Cloud

Technologies That Work Nicely With The Cloud

New Technologies And The Cloud Asides from all the security concerns that has been in the news over the past while, there are still some very exciting and ambitious opportunities available for those who stick it out. Lets take a look at some of the more exciting emerging technologies that can be used in conjunction…

Popular Archives

The Cloud Above Our Home

The Cloud Above Our Home

Our Home – Moving All Things Into The Cloud The promise of a smart home had excited the imagination of the movie makers long ago. If you have seen any TV shows in the nineties or before, the interpretation presented itself to us as a computerized personal assistant or a robot housekeeper. It was smart,…

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb About…

Sponsors

The Many Hats Of Today’s IT Managers

The Many Hats Of Today’s IT Managers

The Many Hats of IT Managers In years past, the IT department of most large organizations was much like a version of Middle Earth: a mysterious nether world where people who seemed infinitely smarter than the rest of us bustled around, speaking and typing languages that appeared indecipherable, yet, which made our world work. They…

Selling Your Business To Your Employees

Selling Your Business To Your Employees

Mobility For Your Employees It may seem a radical notion, the idea of selling your business to the people who work for you, but this is the era in which we now work. Employees of all levels are all incredibly aware of their options when it comes to mobility and employability. This doesn’t mean that…

Established in 2009

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

CloudTweaks Comic Library

Advertising