Do You Still Need to Worry About Cloud Security?

The answer to the question posed above is … maybe, but definitely not as much as before! A few recent studies in a handful of technologically conservative industries suggest that people and businesses are becoming increasingly comfortable with storing and managing their data in the cloud.

Markets like health care, finance and government, which are typically technology risk-averse, are quickly adopting (and even advocating) disruptive cloud technologies.

Those that have yet to adopt Software-as-a-Service continue to raise two fears when considering making the move into the cloud: Who is in control of my data? Is it safe to store my data somewhere other than the office? These concerns are valid and must be understood by those making the move to the cloud, but the idea that my data must be stored under my roof is shifting.

One expert from Accenture was recently quoted in an article on InformationWeek.com as saying, “Healthcare firms are beginning to realize that cloud providers actually may offer more robust security than is available in-house.” Within that same story a recent study was cited that stated that about one-third of the health care industry currently uses cloud apps and that over 70% of respondents plan to shift more and more to SaaS and cloud apps. While these estimates are interesting in any field, the intrigue is heightened when it comes to health care, where HIPPA compliance rules are notoriously strict.

The finance world is seeing similar shifts. For example, a recent study conducted by SIFMA explained how cloud computing is enabling the financial industry to move forward with technology in spite of budget restraints. “The [finance] industry is showing a larger appetite for disruptive technologies such as cloud computing to force business model change,” said the study.

Even the federal government is showing traces of similar trends, with federal CIO Vivek Kundra singing the praises of cloud computing even more than Marc Benioff! “Far too long we’ve been thinking very much vertically and making sure things are separated. Now we have an opportunity to lead with solutions that by nature encourage collaboration both horizontally and vertically.”

Cloud security remains an important issue that vendors take seriously, but there is definitely a shifting mood towards acceptance of cloud security. In a recently blog post, John Soat summarized the current mood saying, “It’s not that security in the cloud isn’t still a concern for both [health care and finance] industries, but it’s a known, and perhaps better understood factor … So while security is still a legitimate concern, it doesn’t seem to be the show stopper it used to be …”

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