Skills Shortage And Shadow IT Still Plaguing Cloud Deployments

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‘Cloud first’ strategies now mainstream but same old problems persist

Trust in the cloud is on the rise, but shadow IT and a lack of security skills are still causing problems for businesses.

Intel Security’s ‘Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky’ report has revealed that, although cloud migration is continuing to increase as organisations adopt “cloud first” strategies, security concerns are still hampering this transition.

“The ‘Cloud First’ strategy is now well and truly ensconced into the architecture of many organisations across the world,” said Raj Samani, Intel Security’s chief technology officer for EMEA,

“The desire to move quickly toward cloud computing appears to be on the agenda for most organisations. This year, the average time before respondents thought their IT budgets would be 80 percent cloud-based was 15 months, indicating that Cloud First for many companies is progressing and remains the objective.”

Trusting cloud

The good news for the public cloud industry is that most organisations now view  such services as secure, or more secure, than private clouds, as shown by the fact that the number of companies using only private cloud has dropped from 51 percent to 24 percent over the last 12 months.

This increased trust, as well as an increased understanding of the risks involved, is encouraging more businesses to store sensitive data in the cloud, with 62 percent of those surveyed now storing personal customer information in public cloud environments.

However, the much-publicised skills shortage is still affecting cloud deployments, with nearly 50 percent of respondents saying that a lack of cyber security skills has slowed the adoption of usage of cloud services.

A further 36 percent said they plan to continue with their cloud activities even though they are experiencing a skills shortage, while 15 percent said a lack of skills had not been an issue.

An then we come to the plague of the IT department that is Shadow IT. Almost 40 percent of cloud services are now commissioned without the involvement of IT, with visibility of these services dropping from around 50 percent last year to 47 percent this year. As a result, nearly two thirds (65 percent) of IT professionals believe Shadow IT is hindering their ability to secure cloud environments.

Samani continue: “Shadow IT is a significant issue in the UK especially and enterprises are leaving themselves more vulnerable than if they adopted a proactive cloud strategy. Attackers will look for the easiest targets, regardless of whether they are public, private or hybrid. Integrated or unified security solutions that provide visibility across all of the organisation’s services could be the best defence.

“Rather than having to react to security threats brought about by unregulated cloud adoption from other departments, IT departments should consider working with the wider enterprise to adopt a Cloud First strategy, which proactively builds security into its core.”

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