NewsMarch 27, 2017 @ 7:30 AM

The Next Destination for Your Security Operations Is the Cloud

Security operations are moving to the cloud, and IT managers are finding ways to support the use of a broad range of business applications on demand.

As many as 42 percent of IT decision-makers and security managers said they currently run security applications in the cloud, according to research from Schneider Electric. Additionally, almost half said they are likely or extremely likely to move their security operations to the cloud in the future.

While acceptance of the cloud appears to be growing, the research also indicated that barriers still thwart organizations looking to embrace on-demand IT. Managers should focus on these challenges and help business peers embrace the cloud in a secure manner.

Increasing Confidence in the Cloud

ZDNet said industry experts conclude on-demand IT has reached a tipping point now that organizations are using cloud computing services to run and develop their businesses. The Schneider Electric research backed up these sentiments and highlighted how executives use the cloud for a range of applications, including data storage, human resources and email.

More than half (57 percent) of respondents believe the cloud is secure. Confidence in on-demand security is highest among IT and technology professionals, at 78 percent. Managers in education (70 percent), construction (68 percent) and financial services (52 percent) also feel assured about cloud security.

Respondents felt on-demand IT should form part of an approach to security. Almost 80 percent said it is imperative to integrate security systems with other buildings and IT systems as part of a cloud strategy.

Recognizing the Scale of Security Operations

However, the research indicated that challenges remain when it comes to pushing security operations to the cloud.

Almost one-fifth of respondents do not trust the cloud. Much of this skepticism appears related to the current state of security systems — more than half of survey participants (54 percent) indicated security systems are not always properly outfitted for the adoption of new systems and services.

While almost all business leaders (95 percent) are supportive of emerging technology, the research suggested considerable barriers still need to be overcome. Administrative procedures, lack of perceived value and fears over return on investment are the top hurdles seen as preventing organizations from achieving their security goals via the cloud.

Making Plans for a Smooth Migration

Schneider Electric’s research adds further weight to the belief that perceptions on cloud security are changing. While some considerable issues remain, senior executives are increasingly open to the use of on-demand IT across business.

Security — along with key issues like governance and legacy constraints — has traditionally been portrayed as an intractable challenge for some firms keen to embrace the cloud. However, evidence suggests good planning and strong configuration can help to simplify a move to on-demand, even for organizations that are migrating existing systems.

IT managers should note that cloud security remains a work in progress. Network World reported that just over two-thirds of cybersecurity professionals believe their organizations are still learning how to apply security policies to cloud infrastructure.

As businesses look to move security operations online, they should focus on several core business concerns. IT managers considering a switch to on-demand IT must pay attention to skills and training, project sponsorship and expert external advice.

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Mark Samuels

Tech Journalist

Mark Samuels is an experienced business technology journalist with an outstanding track record in research. He specializes in the role of chief information officers (CIOs) and is adept at helping executives understand the business benefits of complex technologies. Key areas of interest include innovation, digital transformation, cloud computing, mobility, information security, ecommerce and big data. Mark has written articles for national newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times and The Sunday Times. He has also produced features and columns for a range of IT trade publications, such as Computer Weekly, ZDNet, Tech Republic, IT Pro, Channel Pro, CBR and The Register.