September 23, 2010 09:00 ET
Survey Finds Cloud Security Lacking
Security Measures, Such as Multi-Factor Authentication, Are Critical to Widespread Adoption of Cloud Computing
OVERLAND PARK, KS--(Marketwire - September 23, 2010) - PhoneFactor, the leading global provider of phone-based multi-factor authentication, today released the results of its recent survey on the role of security in cloud computing adoption. The results point to a strong interest in cloud computing, but an equally strong fear about the security implications.
The survey included more than 300 information technology professionals from a wide variety of industries and looked at their organizations' current and planned use of cloud computing, what perceived benefits are driving adoption, and conversely which factors are limiting adoption. Key findings in PhoneFactor's study include:
Security is a primary barrier to cloud computing adoption for nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) followed by Compliance (54%) and Portability/Ownership of Data (48%).
42% of respondents indicated that security concerns had held their company back from adopting cloud computing. 30% were unsure, and only 28% indicated it had not been a deterrent.
Leading cloud services were rated only moderately secure or worse: Google Apps, Amazon Web Services, and SalesForce/Force.com were all rated only moderately or less secure by more than 74% of respondents.
Preventing unauthorized access to data was the greatest cloud computing security concern. The overwhelming majority of respondents (93%) were at least moderately concerned about preventing unauthorized access to company data in the cloud; more than half (53%) were extremely concerned by it. Fear of the unknown ranked second highest with 89% of respondents indicating they were at least moderately concerned about the inability to evaluate the security of cloud-based systems.
What can be done to increase confidence in cloud computing? The top three security measures respondents thought were critical to securing the cloud included: Encryption (84%), Multi-Factor Authentication (81%), and Intrusion Prevention (80%).
Reduced cost (65%), Scalability (62%), and Rapid Implementation (50%) are seen as primary benefits to cloud computing. 87% of respondents indicated that they were planning to at least evaluate the use of cloud services.
"Companies are eager to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing," said Steve Dispensa, PhoneFactor CTO and co-founder. "Demand for cloud computing systems clearly exists. However, survey results indicate that better security, like multi-factor authentication and encryption, are going to be required if cloud computing adoption is going to move forward."
Google's announcement earlier this week that they are adding two-step authentication to Google Apps validates the need for additional security for user access to cloud applications. The Google authentication solution, like that provided by PhoneFactor, leverages an everyday device -- the phone, which is ideal for cloud applications because it mirrors the scalability and cost savings touted as key benefits of cloud computing.
PhoneFactor enables strong, out-of-band security and can be easily and economically enabled to secure cloud applications. Additional security features like transaction verification and voice biometrics protect against MITM/MITB and other sophisticated attacks. In addition, PhoneFactor supports authentication to applications like Outlook Web Access, remote access VPNs, and websites, allowing a single authentication system for all applications regardless of whether they are hosted on-premise or in the cloud. PhoneFactor is also widely deployed to secure online banking logins and transactions.
PhoneFactor is a leading provider of multi-factor authentication. The company's award-winning platform uses any phone as a second form of authentication. PhoneFactor's out-of-band architecture and real-time fraud alerts provide strong security for enterprise and consumer applications. It's easy and cost effective to set up and deploy to large numbers of geographically diverse users. In 2010 PhoneFactor was named to the Bank Technology News FutureNow list of the top 10 technology innovators securing the banking industry today and was a finalist in the SC Magazine Reader Trust Awards. Learn more at www.phonefactor.com.