Embrace the cloud – don’t fear it

Many organisations remain hesitant about moving away from physical servers and on-premise data storage due to a fear of security breaches and cyberattacks in the cloud. According to Teradata’s latest report, The Road to Data in the Cloud, one in four executives (25 per cent) believe that data cloud computing adoption would result in a lack of control and increased security breaches.

The biggest security risk to an organisation’s network is still human error. Malicious hackers gain access through security flaws that are overlooked because of time, resources or expense. These flaws are precisely what cloud hosts are built to handle. Cloud providers employ highly-trained staff experienced in dealing with security issues, as opposed to often time-poor and under-resourced in-house IT departments.

Another common misconception is that there is only one option for cloud. Despite public cloud receiving the most attention, there are multiple models to choose from, including hybrid, private, and community cloud. Each delivers a variety of security, availability, and portability requirements to suit an organisation’s specific needs.

Gartner predicts that, by 2018, 60 per cent of organisations that implement cloud visibility and control tools will experience one-third fewer security failures than an on-premise provider.

Cloud computing doesn’t eradicate the risks to sensitive data, but it does reduce the overall scope of security risks by taking care of traditional tasks that are resource-intensive, such as security patch testing.

Responsibility for security will always be shared with the customer. Only a fraction of security incidents that have affected organisations using the cloud are due to provider misconduct.  Therefore, it is up to management to establish security processes that prevent mistakes arising from poor cloud practices.

Cloud computing can enhance customer experience, improve agility, and offer on-demand resources and scalability. Organisations should take a strategic approach to cloud security and employ highly-skilled people or suppliers equipped to handle the ever-evolving threat landscape. With the right internal security processes, organisations need not fear the cloud but can, instead, reap the benefits of increased productivity and efficiency.

Alec Gardner, Director – Global Analytics Business Consulting, Teradata