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Cloud leaders offer security, should you get onboard?

Cloud computing is increasingly growing in popularity among businesses looking to improve operational efficiencies and cut down on technology resources.

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According to a recent report from IDC, total spending on cloud IT infrastructure in 2018 is forecasted to be $62.2 billion with year-over-year growth of 31.1 percent. These figures highlight that while cloud computing was once only adopted by a small number of organisations, it is now becoming the norm for businesses across the world.

Among these organisations moving to the cloud, many are turning to major cloud hosting providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), that offer software-, platform- and infrastructure-as-a-service. After disrupting the IT market with their flexible, powerful and competitively priced cloud services, we are now seeing a big push by these household named technology vendors to introduce security features in their offerings. According to recent estimates, AWS now holds a 33 percent share of the entire cloud market, closely followed by Microsoft Azure with a 13 percent share.

There’s already little room left for traditional hosting providers, and the latest push into security is another step towards further market dominance and customer tie-in, but should you get on board?

Putting their money where security is

The move into security comes with good reasons. 90 percent of cybersecurity professionals are concerned about cloud security, making it one of the biggest roadblocks to cloud adoption. To help overcome migration hurdles, major cloud vendors like Amazon, Google and Microsoft, have launched new features which are designed to secure cloud environments. The cloud providers already have an organisations’ data, applications and virtual machines, so it’s a convenient next step to use this trust as an opportunity to sell additional services like security.

These security operation center (SOC) offerings include identity access management to prohibit unauthorised access to cloud data, encryption for data in transit, multi-factor authentication and secure key management among other things. The services are integrated into each of the vendor’s cloud platform, which means that uptake has been strong as there is very little effort on the customer’s part. However, considering today’s new advanced cyberattacks targeting cloud environments, are these services enough?

While many organisations will believe that the security offered in AWS, Azure and GCP is state of the art, unfortunately this is not the case. The security offered by these vendors works well within their own environments, but they can be less effective for an organisation with a hybrid infrastructure.


Daniel Lucani

PhD at MIT. Author of 8 patents and applications on network coding. Tech expert 12+ years experience.