As the move toward cloud gathers momentum, unwarranted fears about security are inhibiting the use of public cloud services by some organizations.
“Concerns about cloud service provider security have become counterproductive, and are distracting CIOs and CISOs from establishing the organizational, security and governance processes that prevent cloud security and compliance mistakes,” said Jay Heiser, research vice president at Gartner. “In fact, Gartner predicts that, through 2020, 95 percent of cloud security failures will be the customer's fault.”
The naive belief that cloud providers are entirely responsible for their customers' security means that many enterprises are failing to address how their employees use external applications, leaving them free to share huge amounts of often-inappropriate data with other employees, external parties and sometimes the entire Internet.
The cloud business model provides huge market incentives for cloud service providers to place a higher priority on security than is typical for end-user organizations.
Virtually all public cloud use is within services that are highly resistant to attack and, in the majority of circumstances, represent a more secure starting point than traditional in-house implementations. Only a very small percentage of the security incidents that have affected enterprises using the cloud have been due to vulnerabilities on the part of the provider.
“The cloud business model provides huge market incentives for cloud service providers to place a higher priority on security than is typical for end-user organizations,” explains Heiser. “Cloud service providers can afford to hire experienced system and vulnerability managers, and their economies of scale make it practical to provide around-the-clock security monitoring and response.”