The cloud is fairly new territory for many organizations and, consequently, it’s an area where mistakes are made stemming from confusion around the role cloud service providers play in security, and how companies should work with them.
"Organizations looking to host their data in cloud service providers have the best intentions in mind, and the clients I speak with are looking at security as being a key motivator," says Mark Judd, research analyst at Gartner's Research Analyst Lab.
But, Judd says, many businesses are in the mindset of thinking that because major players like Amazon and Microsoft have not been directly compromised, any data they put in those companies' cloud environments will automatically be secure. The problem is, security works both ways.
"They neglect to realize that moving into a cloud does not automatically make their data secure, but requires an understanding of the shared responsibility in regards to security controls between the organization and the cloud provider," Judd explains.
Andrei Florescu, group product manager for datacenter at Bitdefender, observes that enterprise responsibility for cloud security varies from function to function, depending on whether you're buying Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, or Software-as-a-Service.
Renting instances in Amazon Web Services will involve different responsibility from buying Office 365, he says, adding that "customers should spend a bit of time understanding the type of service they're consuming from cloud providers, and understanding the security model of whatever it is they're consuming."
Misconceptions around the responsibilities of cloud service providers and their customers in securing data can put information at risk. Here, cloud experts share the security-focused questions all businesses should be asking when researching and using cloud services.
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