Independent research firms give mixed grades to cloud security

New research from the Ponemon Institute and Thales e-Security indicate that about 35 percent of respondents say their use of the cloud has decreased their security posture, while 15 percent say it has increased it. More than 60 percent of those whose organizations currently transfer sensitive or confidential data to the cloud believe the cloud provider has the primary responsible for protecting data. 22 percent say the cloud consumer is responsible – though the pattern is reversed for IaaS users. More than half of the respondents said they don’t know what their Cloud provider actually does to protect their data – a slight improvement over 62 percent in 2011. Only 30 percent said they do. Those numbers echo another recent story from Cyber-Ark Software, which found that 56 percent of the nearly 1,000 C-level and IT executives surveyed were unaware of what their cloud providers were doing to secure privileged accounts.

Takeaway: Educate your customers about the various infrastructure security layers implemented in your cloud as well as the availability of additional security technologies such as intrusion detection, vulnerability scanning and web application firewalls to safeguard their information and retain their trust.