The Cloud Computing Fear Factor
Despite hesitancy toward cloud computing, it's having an impact on the roles of IT executives.
Recognizing that a lot of potential customers are uncomfortable with the whole notion of cloud computing, IBM has begun rolling out new cloud security services.
IBM is hardly the only IT services company making available cloud security services. Like many company vendors, IBM is trying to allay the concerns customers have over cloud security to get more customers to adopt cloud computing. To that end, IBM has added cloud computing security assessment services and an application service that tracks where sensitive data is at any given time in the application environment. IBM is also making available enhanced vulnerability assessment and log-management services delivered via the cloud.
A recent survey conducted by IBM finds that 50 percent of the 556 IT managers surveyed said that they are concerned about data breaches if they embrace cloud computing and 77 percent said they are concerned about an inability to protect privacy.
Jason Hilling, IBM portfolio manager for cloud security services, said that while these concerns exist among customers, most cloud computing platforms are more secure than the patchwork of internal systems that most customers rely on today.
In reality, says Hiller, cloud computing represents a new model for consuming secure IT resources. And customers should expect to see IBM deliver additional security services in the cloud and from the cloud as part of effort to gain the trust of customers.
To what degree fears over cloud security are based in reality versus resistance to a model of computing that many find threatening to their jobs is still anybody's guess. But the IBM study suggests that internal IT organizations think they are much better at securing data than most people would give them credit for, so convincing them otherwise might require a fair amount of time and irrefutable evidence. It's also not always abundantly clear who exactly is in charge of security when it comes to cloud computing.