While both companies and industry analysts have pointed to cloud services as a way to simplify IT management, such a move is not without its complications, note experts.
VeriSign vice president of authentication Kerry Loftus told V3.co.uk that her company has noticed that vendors, consumers and enterprises are all feeling the growing pains of cloud migration.
Among the biggest problems is identity management. As companies move to new services, more and more login credentials must be created both for each service and each individual user. The result is an unprecedented jumble of credentials to manage.
"The matter of user name and password has gotten much more complicated," Loftus said.
"It used to be you would get a Windows login and a password, and you would have access to everything, but now even within VeriSign I probably have access to seven or more SaaS apps."
One solution that has been offered by vendors has been the "single sign-on" programme. Vendors such as Amazon, Facebook and Google have made efforts to introduce services that allow for a single set of credentials to work on multiple sites.
However, the single sign-on model has a major security weakness. When multiple sites use the same credentials, a breach at one business can be disastrous for the entire network.
"The value of that username and password is even larger than it was before," said Loftus.
"The weakest link in the chain can open up the biggest can of worms and potentially create complications that we have not seen in the past."
Loftus said that some vendors have sought to beef up security with two-factor systems, such as key fobs or mobile phone applications that randomly generate a new passcode each time a user logs in.
While early trials of such systems have been promising, Loftus estimates that such programmes are only in use by some five per cent of users, leaving the technology well within its "early adopter" phase.
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