Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Survey: Security Concerns Boost Hybrid Clouds 

Amid lingering concerns about cloud security, a new survey of IT professional confirms that a hybrid cloud strategy is increasingly the preferred way to exploit the advantages of cloud technology while managing security risks.

Netwrix Corp., a change and configuration auditing software specialist based in Irvine, Calif., found that fully 69 percent of respondents to its survey said the remains nervous about increased security risks associated with a shift to cloud deployment. As a result, 44 percent view the hybrid cloud model as the most secure way to shift from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud.

Just over one-third of companies surveyed said they plan to deploy private clouds while investing in additional security, Netwrix found. "Data integrity has always been a pain point for IT professionals, so any technology that suggests storing data on third-party servers only raises suspicion," the report noted.

In order to increase visibility into the cloud to reduce risks like unauthorized access, 56 percent of respondents said they were implementing identity and authentication management schemes. Meanwhile, just over half said they are adopting encryption technologies to ward off intruders and protect business applications.

Thirty percent said they have already implemented cloud security measures while 40 percent are ready to invest in tighter security as they shift to the cloud.

While the security of sensitive corporate data remains the leading concern, most of the businesses surveyed are eying hybrid cloud options as a way to maintain physical control over critical data and applications. The survey found that 43 percent of large enterprises worry about data losses in the cloud. Other concerns included network vulnerabilities such as denial-of-service and malware attacks, disaster recovery and the overall cost of the migration to the cloud.

"Advanced security solutions and true visibility into what is going on across the cloud infrastructure will help companies minimize security risks, take back control over business-critical assets and accelerate cloud adoption," Netwrix CEO Alex Vovk predicted in a statement.

Gradually, the survey found, the advantages of cloud technology are trumping security concerns. The key advantage in the era of big data is the ability to scale operations. Thirty-six percent of IT professionals surveyed from small companies cited scalability as the primary motivation for deploying hybrid or private clouds.

Indeed, market watchers note that much of the growth in cloud adoption is likely to come from small and medium-sized businesses looking to scale their operations as data volumes soar.

Along with scaling, large enterprises cited "flexibility in resource utilization" as a key driver of cloud deployment. That flexibility includes the ability to run workloads as needed on the cloud without having to maintain a large and often underutilized on-premises infrastructure.

Among companies of all sizes, software-as-a-service was the leading cloud service model (45 percent), followed by infrastructure-as-a-service (33 percent) and platform-as-a-service (22 percent).

Netwrix said its global survey of more than 600 IT administrators representing 24 industries was conducted during the third quarter of 2015.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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