How safe is cloud for data in 2017?

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Experts offer differing opinions on where cloud security is headed

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6 January 2017 | 0

It used to be that security concerns were the biggest impediments to public cloud adoption. But, in 2017, that may no longer be the case.

Tim Prendergast, CEO at Evident.io, believes it is widely accepted that security in public cloud is strong, shifting the top concern to compliance. Organisations moving to the cloud need to be able to demonstrate that they are doing things in a secure and compliant manner.

“There’s a lot of churn in the hardware space because of virtualisation. Companies are growing tired of having to refresh their IT systems with new hardware every five years. People want to be more mobile, and the cloud is a way to get there,” Pat O’Day, Bluelock

“So, whether it is PCI, HIPAA, NIST-800 53 or internal compliance standards, organisations need to be able to demonstrate that they can maintain compliance throughout the fast-pace of change that takes place in the cloud,” he said. To solve this, they will have to turn to security and compliance automation solutions that will help them measure and report with ease, he added.

Security a utility
According to Scott Chasin, CEO and co-founder of ProtectWise, security will become a utility, thanks to the cloud. “In 2017 we will see more enterprise security organisations using the cloud to enable better visibility with longer retention and continuous processing of their analytics.”

Delivering enterprise security via the cloud will ultimately start to lower the cost and complexity of the security infrastructure, as those legacy appliance systems are replaced in favour of agile, distributed models, he said.

“There’s a growing call for security to be treated as a fundamentally basic utility where safety can be assumed. The cloud is the key to enabling this, with benefits like storage options, scalability and ease of deployment,” Chasin said.

Bluelock CTO Pat O’Day predicts that when faced with a hardware refresh, more companies will turn to the cloud than to new hardware.

“There’s a lot of churn in the hardware space because of virtualisation. Companies are growing tired of having to refresh their IT systems with new hardware every five years. People want to be more mobile, and the cloud is a way to get there. Plus, rapid technology innovation has driven increased competition (think about the rise in artificial intelligence, for example),” O’Day said.

For these reasons, more and more businesses are opting for a model that allows them to harness immediate time-to-value and consistently have the latest technology. With the cloud, now even the smallest companies can compete on the technology front.

IaaS to be exploited
Expect attackers to exploit infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) as both an attack platform and attack surface, warned Watchguard’s CTO Corey Nachreiner.

Whether it be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings such as Office 365, Salesforce, and Dropbox, or public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platforms such as Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft Azure, businesses of all sizes have adopted at least some cloud services over the past five years.

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