Cloud Security Misconceptions

Steve Bailey, regional operations director, CommVault Systems, talks about cloud computing, the misconceptions about cloud security and how channel partners can make the case for cloud storage

Tags: Cloud computingCommVault Systems Incorporated
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Cloud Security Misconceptions Bailey says it’s only a matter of time before cloud storage adoption becomes widely accepted.
By  Steve Bailey Published  May 7, 2012

Steve Bailey, regional operations director, CommVault Systems, talks about cloud computing, the misconceptions about cloud security and how channel partners can make the case for cloud storage.

What comes to mind when you think about cloud security? Do you think about application security or protecting corporate data? Perhaps you fear virus or phishing attacks? For the past several years, cloud security has been one of the biggest concerns among IT decision makers as they consider how best to transition applications and data out of the corporate data centre and into the cloud.

A perceived lack of cloud security can sometimes stop an IT firm dead in its tracks when they look at the cloud as an option for data storage. This fear also means they lose out on all of the business, cost and operational benefits of the cloud.

The reality is that all of the pieces are in place to enable secure and compliant cloud-based storage environments, and the technology is sound.

The economic benefits that come with storing data in the cloud are too great to ignore for any IT organisation struggling with data management. Because cloud storage providers leverage multi-tenant architectures, infrastructure costs are shared across many users. This helps lower costs substantially versus on-site solutions, which require additional provisioning, power, cooling costs, and more.

While many firms benefit today from keeping online, deduplicated data copies available for fast recovery, massive growth will still require more disk and tape to contain exploding amounts of data. Cloud storage offers a low-cost tier of storage that enables several new compliance, disaster recovery (DR), and data backup solutions.

There are many aspects to securing data in the cloud. People who move application and email servers into the cloud are concerned with spam, hackers and phishing attacks. Those who are considering the cloud to store data for long-term archiving/retention or DR are concerned with others gaining access or visibility into vital corporate data. There is also physical security and the spectre of some nameless individual strolling into a cloud service provider’s data centre and walking away with a jump drive full of intellectual property.

Think about the data in terms of your own data centre. You have anti-virus and filtering software tools that monitor and prevent email attacks as well as encryption and data storage technologies to meet your needs for compliance, recovery and retention. And it’s a safe bet that cloud service providers have guards protecting their physical sites.

There are a few things that you should look for, however, to ensure that your data is being protected in the cloud. Your cloud solution should include: embedded encryption that secures data backup and archive data, integrated alerting, reporting, and data verification functionality, native REST/HTTP integration to deliver seamless data and information management across on-site and cloud-based storage architectures.

It is inevitable that IT firms will turn to the cloud to keep pace with business demands. It may take time to overcome the fear inherent in handing over control of your data to someone else, but consider this, there was a time when using a credit card online invoked the same type of fear. Nobody wanted to be first to dip their toe in the pool. The technology needed to keep secure, protected and recoverable is here today and adoption will grow. It’s just a matter of time.

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