Data Mobility, Security Top Cloud Computing Concerns

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2012-08-01 Print this article Print

BYOD initiatives are causing headaches for IT departments as they struggle to prevent corporate data leaks onto public clouds.

The biggest concerns of IT decision-makers dealing with public clouds are the loss of corporate data and control of data, a reflection of the known threats and risks of data leakage into the public cloud, according to a survey of more than 150 chief information officers (CIOs) conducted by storage services specialist Mezeo Software.

Results suggest the worry factor over data leakage onto the public cloud was high, with more than 80 percent of respondents rating their concern as an eight or higher on a scale of one to 10, with 10 representing the most worried. Compliance and data availability were also highlighted as concerns, but were considered less worrying than data leakage. For the most part, survey respondents were not as concerned about data theft. However, no one believed their organization was exempt from data leakage to public clouds.

The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives and personal decision-making by employees were cited as the greatest causes of data leakage, but only 42 percent of respondents said they were actively preventing data from being stored on public clouds. Budgetary restraints, a lack of available options to help keep corporate data behind firewalls, and an inability to mandate that users stop using consumer tools and public clouds were the top obstacles to stopping data leakage.

€œEven if CIOs find a solution, other hurdles need to be overcome including the inability to control users€™ actions. Some IT teams have taken a tough stance and have forbidden use of popular consumer-based tools that store data on public clouds. However, most IT teams don€™t have the corporate backing to do this,€ the report concluded. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they allowed their employees to bring their own mobile devices to work, while about 40 percent said they allow company provided devices and allow corporate data access on them. One-third of respondents said they only allow senior management to have access via mobile devices.

"This survey tells us that IT executives have a high level of concern as they face the real challenges associated with the consumerization of IT, including corporate data leaking onto public clouds through consumer-based tools," Steve Lesem, the founder of CloudStorageStrategy and the CEO of Mezeo Software, said in a prepared statement. "Without adequate policy protections and corporate-endorsed alternatives in place, mobile corporate users are doing what it takes to increase productivity, with or without input from IT. You don't want to stop progress -- but you can't risk control. The good news is you can deliver both. The key is control."

Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at Before joining, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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