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Risk

5/13/2010
09:56 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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IT Departments Losing Ground On Cloud Computing

While most IT departments and organizations know that current cloud computing environments are not suitable for all types of company data, end users are moving forward with cloud services anyway - a new survey has found.

While most IT departments and organizations know that current cloud computing environments are not suitable for all types of company data, end users are moving forward with cloud services anyway - a new survey has found.The survey, Security of Cloud Computing Users, funded by CA and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, didn't really break any new ground or reveal previously unknown perceptions. Rather, the survey helped to substantiate what many in IT have been talking about for the past couple of years: cloud computing services (founded or not) raise serious security and privacy concerns.

However, this survey of 642 US-based IT practitioners and 283 UK-based IT practitioners, also confirmed that many corporate end users are deciding to move to the cloud without first getting IT's okay:

IT practitioners in both the US and Europe admit they do not have complete knowledge of all the cloud computing resources deployed within their organizations today. This occurs because cloud computing deployment decisions are often made by end-users without conducting a thorough review for security.

Let's hope that the end users are employing some common sense, and not moving corporate financial information, trade secrets, customer data, or health related information to the cloud. Unfortunately, we don't know what data is moving to the cloud because IT departments have no clue how their end users are using cloud services.

And, according to the survey, the number of business users who have gone rogue is no fringe group:

Only 36 percent of US respondents believe their organizations are vigilant in conducting audits or assessments of cloud computing resources before deployment. Fifty-seven percent of European respondents hold this favorable perception. While not shown in the above chart, 55 percent of US respondents and 44 percent of European respondents are not confident that they know all cloud computing applications, platforms or infrastructure services in use today. This finding suggests the consumerization of IT creates a void in the organization's ability to evaluate cloud computing security.

Hello: it's 2010 and do you know where your data resides?

This trend can't end well.

Let's hope IT departments are able to reign some level of control over how company data is being used before it's too late.

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