Despite the growing number of businesses migrating to the cloud, many leaders remain reluctant to make the move.

Datapipe report that hybrid is the most common cloud option, with 70% of business owners opting for a combination of private and public resources. Similarly, IDG reports that business leaders are more concerned about data security within the public cloud, so favour private options. But why is it that despite the proliferation of the cloud adoption, security concerns are still the number one obstacle to public cloud migration?

Lack of knowledge

Misconceptions, myths and historic headlines related to security failures and unscrupulous hacking attacks are often associated with the public cloud. But this fear could be impeding the competitive advantage the benefits a public cloud migration creates.

Widespread use of the cloud is breaking down geographical barriers and storage restrictions on data, files and documents. But more specifically, with a migration to the public cloud, data services are moved from an internal data centre to a third party operator. Relinquishing that visibility and control can be a challenge for leaders. And not just security, but also data sovereignty.

But as the number of industries experimenting with infrastructure as a service is growing, initial concerns and anxieties surrounding resource and security, are starting to diminish. Of current cloud users, 85% are confident in their provider’s ability to provide a secure environment, illustrating that once the migration is complete and an organisation is relishing in the multiple benefits, public cloud security concerns are quickly appeased.

For example, small to mid-size enterprises can leverage exceptional advantages when it comes to utilising IT services that are otherwise too costly due to prohibitive infrastructures. This gives them the platform to compete with larger businesses in a disruptive market.  Of course, there’s the added advantage that a public cloud does not require a company to deploy internal data security controllers, or depend on internal IT departments to act upon security since it is managed by a third party provider.

Data concerns

When a third party is involved, leaders are concerned about how their data will be stored, controlled and processed. This has come to head particularly since Google released its controversial privacy policy. But a clear and unambiguous SLA (service level agreement), which is strictly adhered to, along with full transparency. And of course, with the imminent commencement of the GDPR, subjects are entitled to more rights than ever before when it comes to personal data.

There's a persistent perception that data hosted on the cloud is inherently more vulnerable and susceptible to government snooping and unscrupulous hacking scandals. And with the rise of malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks, leaders’ concerns about the safety of their files, data and documents are arguably greater than ever. The irony is, however, that traditional IT is risk-averse in nature. All it can take is one employee to fall victim of a seemingly innocuous phishing scam, or to lose a memory stick dashing through the tube, and your business’ files fall into the wrong hands, irrevoacbly damaging your company's reputation.

But with the cloud's ubiquity and data recovery assurance, files can be wiped from devices remotely, and recovered elsewhere. 

Public cloud data is always protected by a highly secure firewall, and all data is encrypted to ensure ultimate safety. Furthermore, the scalable infrastructure significantly reduces security threats from hackers and hijackers. Previous shortcomings of the public cloud which have lead to doubts and reluctance that have encouraged cloud vendors to up their security and tighten up any loopholes or vulnerabilities to avoid the attacks of this nature from reoccurring. 

Perhaps a lack of education that is contributing to the climate of uncertainty that surrounds the cloud. For example, nearly 72% of cloud storage users estimate that they could recover their data within 24 hours compared to 62% of non-cloud users who thought the same.

It’s with education and understanding that these perceptions can be challenged and shifted, as more business recognised the unprecedented security of all cloud options, including the public. 

With full transparency, a cloud provider who is on hand 24/7 to offer support and maintenance, and fully unambiguous regulations, the cloud user and provider relationship can help to break down any concerns, and enable users to optimise their cloud usage, making full use of the benefits that can enhance the flexibilty, efficicency, and productivity of a business.

Your company's journey to the cloud 

Chris Coupe

Written by Chris Coupe

Chris is a director at RunTech. Having spent six years in business development and management, he plays an invaluable role in seeking out new opportunities and driving the company forward.