Survey Says: Cloud More Secure

By Doug Barney

When vendors started pressing IT to move to the cloud, IT dug in its heels and crowed that the cloud couldn’t possibly be as secure as its own data centers.

Cloud provider businesses are just as much at stake as yours if they start being compromised, so they tend to take security seriously. And this is clearly paying off as two recent vendor-backed surveys can attest.

MSP Today is generally skeptical of vendor surveys, but in this case the findings mimic our own thinking and customer conversations.

The most recent survey is from Hostway, which sells managed, cloud and hybrid hosting services.

Security was top of mind. “Participants were asked which of the following services is more secure in a public cloud vs. an in-house setting: Web servers, database servers, e-mail services, CRM and additional collaboration software. Signaling a significant shift in perceptions, even among audiences generally comfortable with cloud services, 62 percent of survey respondents indicated that key services are more secure in a public cloud environment,” the research revealed.

Microsoft commissioned a similar bit of research focused on SMBs. As perhaps expected, SMBs that haven’t moved to the cloud cite security as the biggest concern. In fact, 64 percent of those surveyed worry about cloud security and 45 percent fret that they will lose control over their data. Meanwhile 42 percent don’t trust the cloud for reliability (they apparently weren’t asked if they trusted Windows to not have blue screens of death).

Talk to shops that made the cloud move and you get the opposite result. That’s what Microsoft did, and its result say that SMBs that use the cloud find a lift in privacy, reliability and security.

Of those that used the cloud, 94 percent found improved security through more current anti-virus and spam controls, and in general having more up-to-date systems.

Meanwhile, 65 percent of cloud users see better reliability and 62 percent experience more privacy.

“There’s a big gap between perception and reality when it comes to the cloud. SMBs that have adopted cloud services found security, privacy and reliability advantages to an extent they didn’t expect,” said Adrienne Hall, general manager, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft. “The real silver lining in cloud computing is that it enables companies not only to invest more time and money into growing their business, but to better secure their data and to do so with greater degrees of service reliability as well.”

Hostway also tackled scalability, and discovered that 80 percent of those asked found the cloud more scalable than in-house infrastructure.

Another area probed was performance. “The survey revealed that 73 percent of respondents preferred public cloud hosting to in-house services based on performance,” the survey showed.

IT is apparently getting the message that security is no longer a cloud deal breaker.

“We've noticed a trend toward greater acceptance of public cloud hosting services over the past year,” said Aaron Hollobaugh, Hostway's vice president of marketing. “Organizations that were previously hesitant are now moving larger, more robust database workloads into the public cloud environment, and we're seeing rising demand for hybrid or public cloud installations from companies that previously used more traditional managed hosting services.”

TMC interviewed Hostway on video about moving mission critical applications to the cloud.

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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