Trust in public cloud providers’ security is increasing

Enhanced security measures are encouraging use of cloud computing

End user apprehension towards moving to the cloud is dissipating, according to an IDG Connect survey. Of those polled, half felt more confident in migrating workloads off-premise, a trend that can be attested to stronger security measures on both the vendor's side and the end user's side.

Since its inception, cloud computing has forged paths towards efficiency and enhanced customer experiences, enabling the digital transformation necessary to ensure businesses remain competitive. Storing data and applications in the cloud though, brought to the surface a host of security issues that have dissuaded many IT decision makers from transitioning.

Cloud providers do offer security layers that end users can take advantage of to shore up vulnerabilities, yet despite this, a lack of understanding and expertise within IT departments has led to many organisations struggling to deploy the security measures, which are often  complex and require specific knowledge. The result is vulnerable data and applications. Paired with severe breaches hitting the headlines regularly throughout 2018 and 2019, it is no surprise that many companies were hesitant to store their applications and data off-premise.

In response to end users' fears, vendors are implementing stricter security controls which can restrict access to data centres, ensuring only those who need to access are granted access. This eliminates internal vulnerabilities by preventing the wrong employees stumbling upon information that wasn't meant for their eyes.

Microsoft is taking a leap further: Integrating its Azure compute infrastructure with customised hardware components with embedded protection against unauthorised access, also reducing complexity by providing a one-pane solution. Additional security layers are provided by partner-companies feeding into the original vendor's cloud offering. In the Microsoft example, Red Hat, the open source software specialist, is protecting workloads at the virtualisation and application application levels.

Vendors are also taking it upon themselves to test their security features regularly. Penetration testing has developed out of the ethical hacking concept, allowing vendors to realise vulnerabilities in their software before the chinks can be targeted by malicious hackers.

IDG's survey reveals that these measures are feeding back to customers. In addition to the 50% reporting confidence in transitioning to the cloud, 58% indicated that they trust public cloud providers' data security platforms and protocols rather than their own IT departments, while 54% implied they weren't worried about losing control over application and infrastructure provisioning and management as a result of cloud migration projects.

For vendors, existing customers are happy and retained, and new customers are attracted. And with security remaining a top priority for software companies, cloud computing may continue it's surge in popularity for years to come.

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