On the CA/Ponemon Security of Cloud Computing Providers Study…
CA recently sponsored the second in a series of Ponemon Institute cloud computing security surveys.
The first, released in May, 2010 was focused on responses from practitioners: “Security of Cloud Computing Users – A Study of Practitioners in the US & Europe”
The latest titled “Security of Cloud Computing Providers Study (pdf),” released this week, examines “cloud computing providers’” perspectives on the same. You can find the intro here.
While the study breaks down the survey in detail in Appendix 1, I would kill to see the respondent list so I could use the responses from some of these “cloud providers” to quickly make assessments of my short list of those to not engage with.
I suppose it’s not hard to believe that security is not a primary concern, but given all the hype surrounding claims of “cloud is more secure than the enterprise,” it’s rather shocking to think that this sort of behavior is reflective of cloud providers.
Let’s see why.
This survey qualifies those surveyed as such:
We surveyed 103 cloud service providers in the US and 24 in six European countries for a total of 127 separate providers. Respondents from cloud provider organizations say SaaS (55 percent) is the most frequently offered cloud service, followed by IaaS (34 percent) and PaaS (11 percent). Sixty-five percent of cloud providers in this study deploy their IT resources in the public cloud environment, 18 percent deploy in the private cloud and 18 percent are hybrid.
…and offers these most “salient” findings:
- The majority of cloud computing providers surveyed do not believe their organization views the security of their cloud services as a competitive advantage. Further, they do not consider cloud computing security as one of their most important responsibilities and do not believe their products or services substantially protect and secure the confidential or sensitive information of their customers.
- The majority of cloud providers believe it is their customer’s responsibility to secure the cloud and not their responsibility. They also say their systems and applications are not always evaluated for security threats prior to deployment to customers.
- Buyer beware – on average providers of cloud computing technologies allocate 10 percent or less of their operational resources to security and most do not have confidence that customers’ security requirements are being met.
- Cloud providers in our study say the primary reasons why customers purchase cloud resources are lower cost and faster deployment of applications. In contrast, improved security or compliance with regulations is viewed as an unlikely reason for choosing cloud services. The majority of cloud providers in our study admit they do not have dedicated security personnel to oversee the security of cloud applications, infrastructure or platforms.
- Providers of private cloud resources appear to attach more importance and have a higher level of confidence in their organization’s ability to meet security objectives than providers of public and hybrid cloud solutions.
- While security as a “true” service from the cloud is rarely offered to customers today, about one-third of the cloud providers in our study are considering such solutions as a new source of revenue sometime in the next two years.
Ultimately, CA summarized the findings as such:
“The focus on reduced cost and faster deployment may be sufficient for cloud providers now, but as organizations reach the point where increasingly sensitive data and applications are all that remains to migrate to the cloud, they will quickly reach an impasse,” said Mike Denning, general manager, Security, CA Technologies. “If the risk of breach outweighs potential cost savings and agility, we may reach a point of “cloud stall” where cloud adoption slows or stops until organizations believe cloud security is as good as or better than enterprise security.”
I have so much I’d like to say with respect to these summary findings and the details within the reports, but much of it I already have. I don’t think these findings are reflective of the larger cloud providers I interact with which is another reason I would love to see who these “cloud providers” were beyond the breakdown of their service offerings that were presented.”
In the meantime, I’d like to refer you to these posts I wrote for reflection on this very topic:
- What People REALLY Mean When They Say “THE Cloud” Is More Secure…
- Cloud Providers Are Better At Securing Your Data Than You Are…
- On-Demand SaaS Vendors Able to Secure Assets Better than Customers?“
- Reprise: On-Demand SaaS Vendors Able to Secure Assets Better than Customers?
- You Can’t Secure The Cloud…