Security Concerns Drive Companies Back to Private Cloud


Nearly all organizations would use hybrid cloud if the public Internet structure could be made more secure, yet most of them (57 percent) are migrating back to private clouds due to security and data protection concerns. According to 1,000 interviews with senior IT decision-makers conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Tata Communications, cloud computing has been widely adopted yet concerns over security remain an obstacle to wider use.

Although most of organizations have some type of cloud, not all the data is stored there. Even though most companies would move to the cloud tomorrow if it were possible, only 28 percent of data is stored in the cloud and only 42 percent of infrastructure is virtualized. One of the barriers to more widespread cloud adoption and use is application readiness. Many companies use programs that are designed to work with legacy infrastructure or haven’t been updated in a long time. Only 39 percent of applications were ready to move to the cloud.

The second major barrier to cloud adoption is security. Of the companies that brought services back in-house, 72 percent cited security concerns and 69 percent said it was data protection issues. Around half said cost was an issue.

“Migrating compute and data storage away from corporately-owned servers is an act of faith in the robustness of a cloud vendor’s solutions. Data kept in-house is often perceived as being safer and more secure: it is on local servers, is not subject to the unpredictability of the publicly-used Internet structure, is protected behind firewalls, can be monitored against security breaches and is held in accordance with local laws,” according to the report. “This was a major point of concern when the cloud was first introduced, and the research shows that it has been such a concern that most organizations have stopped using at least some of the cloud services they have adopted.”

The authors conclude that proving the “robustness of their solutions” could lure companies back to hybrid and public cloud.

Data sovereignty is still a major issue as well. It’s a top consideration for 27 percent of the respondents and a significant concern for 60 percent. Because companies may be subject to local laws, knowing how and where data is stored is important.

“This may be why less than half of an average organization’s compute and data storage is in the cloud at present – the data still on-premise is potentially subject to greater data protection legislation. If they are to implement cloud computing further, enterprises will need continuing reassurance on how and where their data is being held once it is in the cloud.” This may be even more critical as the EU moves towards new data laws.

Service providers that can provide a high level of security and confidence in their services will have an advantage in the competitive cloud services landscape. This may actually be an issue of educating consumers regarding the true security issues surrounding the cloud services rather than a true risk. This is especially true with the amount of high profile security breaches that have happened in the last year at Anthem, Home Depot and Sony.

Some would even argue moving to the cloud is more actually more secure than on-prem solutions.

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  1. John_1776

    Per NSA PRISM revelations, Public Cloud services have Backdoor access. Once your Data is in the Public Cloud services, the Public Cloud Vendor (Microsoft, Google and Amazon) OWNS your Data. So remember “If you don't hold your Data, you don't Own your Data”, with that in mind go with the Private Cloud.

  2. The question was stated as "Has your organisation ever migrated data back in-house from the cloud?". "Yes" to this question hardly implies an about-face in cloud adoption strategy due to security concerns. It could be nothing more than a single poorly planned application migration, well in the past. I'd be willing to bet that setbacks such as these did not stop those companies from continuing progress toward cloud migration. In fact, the Key Findings of the report state that 28% of respondents compute and data are currently in the cloud and it is predicted to be 58% in 10 years. If companies were being driven away from the cloud, this would not be true.