Intel Security declared its second annual cloud security report, “Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky.” The report outlines the current state of cloud adoption, the primary concerns with private and public cloud services, security implications, and the evolving impact of Shadow IT of the more than 2,000 IT professionals surveyed.
“The ‘Cloud First’ strategy is now well and truly ensconced into the architecture of many organizations across the world,” said Raj Samani, EMEA chief technology officer, Intel Security. “The desire to move quickly toward cloud computing appears to be on the agenda for most organizations. 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.”
Trust in the Cloud on the Rise
The trust and perception of public cloud services continues to improve year over year. Most organizations view cloud services as or more secure than private clouds, and more likely to deliver lower costs of ownership and overall data visibility. Those who trust public clouds now outnumber those who distrust public clouds by more than 2-to-1. Improved trust and perception, in addition to raised understanding of the risks by senior administration, is encouraging more organizations to store sensitive data in the public cloud. Personal customer information is the most likely type of data to be stored in public clouds, kept there by 62 percent of those surveyed.
Risks Also Rise: Shadow IT and the Cybersecurity Skill Shortage
The ongoing shortage of security skills is continuing to affect cloud deployments. Almost half of the organizations surveyed report the lack of cybersecurity skills has slowed adoption or usage of cloud services, possibly contributing to the increase in Shadow IT activities. Another 36 percent report they are experiencing a scarcity but are continuing with their cloud activities regardless. Only 15 percent of those surveyed state they do not have a skills shortage.
Because of the ease of procurement, almost 40 percent of cloud services are now commissioned without the involvement of IT, and unfortunately, visibility of these Shadow IT services has dropped from about 50 percent last year to just under 47 percent this year. As a result, 65 percent of IT professionals think this phenomenon is interfering with their ability to keep the cloud safe and secure. This is not surprising given the amount of sensitive data now being stored in the public cloud and more than half (52 percent) of respondents reporting they have definitively tracked malware from a cloud SaaS application.
Data Center Progression
The number of organizations using private cloud only has dropped from 51 percent to 24 percent over the past year, while hybrid cloud use has raised from 19 percent to 57 percent. This move to a hybrid private/public cloud architecture requires the data center to evolve to a highly virtualized, cloud-based infrastructure. On average, 52 percent of an organization’s data center servers are virtualized, 80 percent are using containers and most expect to have the conversion to a fully software-defined data center accomplished within two years.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) recently declared it is expanding its Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) Solutions portfolio by offering Microsoft Azure Stack on Cisco® UCS via an integrated, validated system that facilitates organizations to deliver Microsoft Azure services from their on-premises data center. The joint Cisco and Microsoft solution provides the tools for enterprises to grow and modernize their applications in a highly flexible and scalable hybrid cloud environment.
As businesses evolve in response to changing market dynamics, they look for a simple-to-manage hybrid cloud solution that is intelligent and flexible enough to optimize resources and scale on demand, while retaining on-premises benefits. Through Azure Stack, customers receive a solution providing full control over how they manage governance, security, and performance through the combination of Microsoft’s robust Azure cloud platform with the industry-leading Cisco UCS into an integrated system designed specifically for cloud workloads.
Accelerate Business Growth With UCS and Azure Stack
“Cisco and Microsoft are coming together to offer a hybrid cloud solution built on the power of UCS and Microsoft Azure,” said Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager, Computing Systems Product Group, Cisco. “Through our joint engineering efforts, application developers and IT managers will have a turnkey solution that is easy to deploy, manage and scale.”
“Microsoft and Cisco are proven innovators and trusted technology partners, giving customers the confidence their IT environments can be supported and secure. Microsoft Azure Stack provides services and application programming interfaces (APIs) compatible with the Azure public cloud, allowing developers to do their best work while giving them the agility to deploy their applications to public, private or hosted clouds,” said Mike Neil, corporate vice president, Azure Infrastructure & Administration, Microsoft Corporation.