Cloud Security Services: Popular But Poorly Defined?
By Doug Bonderud
According to a new survey from Forrester and Zscaler, the majority of IT professionals prefer cloud security services over on-premises alternatives. However, despite the growing popularity of cloud-based protection, many of these offerings remain poorly defined. So, how do companies bridge the gap between cloud security potential and performance? And, where do cloud service providers (CSPs) fit into the equation?
High Praise for Cloud Security
According to Business Solutions, the Forrester/Zscaler survey found that the vast majority of IT professionals (98 percent) prefer security platforms that take an integrated, cloud-based approach to safeguarding networks. Meanwhile, 82 percent of respondents noted that within the next 12 months, they want to deploy advanced security capabilities only a cloud solution can deliver.
What’s more, the survey showed experts see cloud-based security as the only viable option to protect other technologies such as mobile devices and the Internet of Things, which naturally rely on cloud resources. The result is a market primed for cloud security adoption, since both technological maturity and the evolving needs of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) mean on-premises solutions simply can’t keep up.
However, the adoption of cloud security services remains underwhelming. What’s keeping small businesses from taking the leap?
Talking Terms With SMBs
As noted by Cloud Tweaks, there are a number of common security missteps that trip up otherwise productive provider/client relationships. For example, many companies get burned by the fine print in service-level agreements, which often state any data uploaded to cloud servers remains the property of the provider, even if companies delete their account. There is also the problem of cloud-based apps with built-in security vulnerabilities, such as third-party banking and financial advice applications. While banks spend millions of dollars securing small-business data, this work can be quickly undone if companies give out their information to shady app designers.
For SMBs, the move to cloud-based security starts with a search for the best provider, which doesn’t rely on proprietary technology, has no interest in keeping SMB data and is able to offer proactive security counsel to ensure its clients don’t get taken for a ride by malicious applications. For CSPs, this market shift demands a focus on the heart of the matter: highly sophisticated services capable of defending clouds from both internal and external threats. Therefore, the key is shoring up a security-centric position that establishes secure cloud computing as a central tenant of the business model.
Put simply, SMBs are weary of poorly defined cloud models that are further confused by multiple service angles. By addressing these SMB needs, CSPs can establish themselves as security experts first and foremost. Prioritizing this aspect of cloud delivery will also give clients the confidence to leverage other services and, ultimately, entrust providers with mission-critical apps and data — the kind that build lasting, long-term business relationships.
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Article was originally posted here