A poll of experts by V3.co.uk has shown a marked divide in the perception of cloud computing security, and raised serious concerns about data security in particular.
Companies are increasingly shipping critical data into cloud applications, but the results from a security standpoint are mixed, according to John Johnson, chief security officer (CSO) at agricultural equipment maker John Deere.
"The consensus in the industry at large corporations, based on talking to security managers, is that there is a concern about where our data is and, if we erase it, whether it is still stored somewhere," he said.
"From a security standpoint there are concerns about cloud services in general. Does it provide an enterprise service that replaces what we have had in place for the past 15 years? I don't think it's there yet."
However, the cost benefits of the cloud model are undeniable, according to Dan Klinger, CSO at Hershey Foods, who believes that the cost/benefit analysis of outsourcing large parts of the infrastructure is too great to ignore.
"How can we not consider [cloud computing] in terms of efficiency and costs? ", he asked. "It has to be part of the conversation."
Nevertheless, companies should not rush into cloud computing, especially with critical corporate data. The model is still new and needs to be carefully checked out in advance, explained Bob Lentz, CSO at the US Department of Defence.
"The Department of Defence is looking at all applications and the effects of exporting them to the cloud," he said. "We have a number of pilots under way and planned for the future. There are security issues that have to be addressed, and that's why the pilots are so important."
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