Cloud computing has continued to become a more prolific technology with the passing of each year, but many corporate decision-makers have not yet started to truly entrust data in these environments. When the industry first started moving along in terms of popularity and adoption, the primary hindrance to widespread acceptance was fears that information and systems would simply never be able to be secured because of the general characteristics entailed therein.

This state of affairs is relatively common for any new type of technology, as the average business owner will not be entirely comfortable and confident that the solutions are ready to handle sensitive types of corporate information, but suffice it to say that the cloud instilled confidence in many from a relatively early stage. Now, some of the industries that have the most complex security risks to mitigate and most stringent regulatory compliance statutes to follow are beginning to use these tools and solutions for a variety of purposes.

It has become clear that the cloud can be just as secure as other types of systems in the IT market, and some have argued that it is even more effective from the defense standpoint because it can be used to centralize oversight and management frameworks more efficiently than traditional frameworks would allow. Still, fears and concerns regarding the inherent security risks are strong among many industries and regions of the world, holding back the companies in those arenas from enjoying more modernized IT services.

Europe still not sold
Out-Law recently reported that European businesses appear to be a bit less trusting in cloud computing technology, citing the findings of a recent Ponemon Institute survey. According to the news provider, one of the biggest concerns that emerged from the survey was that businesses do not fully trust their cloud services vendors to quickly and swiftly notify them when a major security issue has started to take place.

This is a strange concern for many Americans to think about given the already significant overhaul of breach notification laws in many states, but one that is still very real overseas. The source affirmed that more than three-quarters of the respondents stated that they did not believe their vendor would notify them when customer data was exposed, and 85 percent thought intellectual property-related breaches would not come with quick announcements or communications.

"An increase in the backup and storage of sensitive and/or confidential customer information in my cloud can cause the most costly breaches," Ponemon's researchers explained, according to Out-Law. "Less costly activities occur when the organization's use of IaaS or cloud infrastructure increases… The increase in the use of cloud services (SaaS) and the increase in the backup and storage of sensitive and/or confidential information results in the most costly data breaches involving high value IP."

Finally, the source noted that more than half of IT security professionals who responded to the survey thought the use of cloud services inherently compounds risks related to data security and privacy protection.

Knowledge is power
Although a healthy level of concern is certainly a responsibility of business leaders today, thinking that my cloud cannot be secured is not necessarily going to work to their advantage. Rather, understanding that the cloud can be secured just as well as any other framework, as well as being aware of the steps that need to be taken to protect data and systems in these environments, is critical to having a strong and well-prepared business in the modern era.

Companies should consider leveraging reliable services from a proven provider of secure cloud environments to protect their systems and capitalize on the benefits of the technology.