BYOD, Data Protection Issues Top Cloud Security Concerns

The survey indicated that the responsibility for cloud security remains overwhelmingly with the internal IT staff.

Bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives, data control and potential data loss are among the most pressing cloud security concerns for businesses, according to a survey of 176 IT security professionals by integrated security information and event management (SIEM) specialist AccelOps.

While 65 percent of respondents' organizations are using cloud services today, only 46 percent have moved mission-critical applications and data outside the enterprise. The report also revealed significant inhibitors remain in ensuring effective cloud security, with 39 percent of respondents believing that their existing SIEM and infrastructure monitoring tools are not acceptable to support their cloud security and regulatory compliance requirements.

"It's a sad indictment of the security industry that, in such a well-established market as SIEM and performance monitoring, 39 percent of those surveyed indicated they could not rely on their existing SIEM and monitoring solutions to ensure cloud security and compliance," AccelOps President and CEO Flint Brenton said in a statement. "There is much work to be done to ensure that security threats and the risk of data loss associated with cloud environments are minimized.

"The myriad of cloud services and an ever-changing BYOD landscape means we can no longer simply lock down access to sensitive resources; we have to do a better job of monitoring, correlating and analyzing infrastructure behavior and events to recognize and respond to incidents in real-time," he continued.

While more than half (51 percent) of respondents indicated that they are moderately-to-extremely satisfied with the service-level agreements (SLAs) offered around security and access control, a surprising 41 percent indicated they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with their SLAs.

"The promise of cloud computing is to improve agility and deliver greater efficiencies and cost savings," Brenton said. "However, unless risk can be managed and data secured effectively, organizations will not fully benefit from the advantages of the cloud."

The survey also indicated that the responsibility for cloud security remains overwhelmingly with the internal IT staff at 78 percent; only 13 percent of those polled hold their managed service providers (MSPs) responsible for cloud security.

A similar survey conducted earlier this month by networking appliances specialist F5 Networks indicated BYOD initiatives, virtualization and the complexity of attack types have the greatest impact on securing today's organizations. When asked what security trends have the greatest impact on an organization's ability to achieve the level of security it desires, virtualization led the list of concerns with 73 percent, followed by complex threats (such as distributed-denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks), BYOD and state-sponsored cyber-crime.