Symantec global survey reveals upsurge in rogue clouds, hidden costs
Organizations are widely migrating to the cloud to gain competitive advantages around speed, agility and flexibility according to Symantec Corp's. recent Avoiding the Hidden Costs of Cloud 2013 Survey.
The survey also found that 99 percent of Thai enterprises are at least discussing cloud, Symantec has announced.
It said other key survey findings showed enterprises and SMBs are experiencing escalating costs tied to rogue cloud use, complex backup and recovery, and inefficient cloud storage. Rogue clouds are defined as business groups implementing public cloud applications that are not managed by or integrated into the company's IT infrastructure.
Industry experts predict several key issues will arise in 2013 focused on the financial pressures and security challenges of cloud computing, according to Symantec. Business continuity is seen as an important issue with the increase in cloud outages posing greater risks than security breaches.
Symantec said that over the holidays, a leading cloud service provider experienced an outage, which they quickly remediated. This outage impacted businesses and posed important concerns around data loss prevention, backup, time spent on data recovery and the associated costs. However, with advance preparation, organizations can build safe, agile and efficient clouds that will enable them to meet their business goals.
"Today, almost all enterprises in Thailand are involved in cloud computing. By taking control of cloud deployments, companies can take advantage of the flexibility and cost savings associated with the cloud while minimizing the data control and security risks linked with rogue cloud use," said Pramut Sriwichian, country manager for Thailand, Symantec.
"At Symantec, we envision a future where clouds are safe. In addition to investing in cloud security innovations, we recognize the key role our partner community will play in this transition. Working closely together, we aim to help customers implement a safe and secure cloud strategy, improving their productivity and, ultimately, help them reach the true potential of cloud computing with confidence."
According to the survey, rogue cloud deployments are one of the cost pitfalls. It is a surprisingly common problem, found in more than three quarters (87 percent) of businesses within the last year. Globally, it also seems to be an issue experienced more by enterprises (83 percent), due to their larger company size, than SMBs (70 percent).
Among organizations who reported rogue cloud issues, 61 percent experienced the exposure of confidential information, and more than 47 percent faced account takeover issues. The most commonly cited reasons for undertaking rogue cloud projects were to save time and money.
Cloud is complicating backup and recovery. First, 87 percent of Thai enterprises use three or more solutions to back-up their physical, virtual and cloud data—leading to increased IT inefficiencies, risk and training costs. Furthermore, 67 percent of enterprises in Thailand have lost cloud data (globally, this affected 47 percent of enterprises and 36 percent of SMBs), and most have experienced recovery failures.
Finally, most see cloud recovery as a slow, tedious process. Only 30 percent rate this is as fast and 31 percent estimate it would take three or more days to recover from a catastrophic loss of data in the cloud.
One of the key advantages to cloud storage is how simple it is to provision. Sometimes this simplicity leads to inefficient cloud storage. Generally, organizations around the world strive to maintain a storage utilization rate above 50 percent. According to the survey, cloud storage utilization is surprisingly low at 17 percent. There is a tremendous difference in this area between enterprises (which are utilizing 26 percent of their storage) and SMBs (which is a shockingly low seven percent). In Thailand, 40 percent of enterprises in Thailand admit very little, if any, of their cloud data is deduplicated, further compounding the problem.
According to the survey, 39 percent of Thai enterprises are concerned about meeting compliance requirements in the cloud, and a slightly larger number (41 percent) are concerned about being able to prove they have met cloud compliance requirements. This concern about information in the cloud is well founded, as 41 percent of organizations have been fined for cloud privacy violations.
eDiscovery is creating additional pressure on businesses to quickly find the right information. Two-thirds of businesses reported receiving eDiscovery requests for cloud data. Of those, 70 percent of enterprises in Thailand have missed their cloud discovery deadlines, leading to fines and legal risks.
Organizations have all sorts of assets in the cloud - such as web properties, online businesses or web applications - that require SSL certificates to protect the data in transit whether it is personal or financial information, business transactions and other online interactions. The survey showed companies found managing many SSL certificates to be highly complex: Just 17 percent of Thai enterprises rate cloud SSL certificate management as easy and only 35 percent are certain their cloud-partner's certificates are in compliance with corporate standards.
The survey shows ignoring these hidden costs will have a serious impact on business, Symantec said.
Symantec's 2013 Cloud Survey is a result of research conducted by ReRez in September-October 2012. The full study represents 3,236 organizations from 29 countries. Responses came from companies with a range of five to more than 5,000 employees. Of those responses, 1,358 came from SMBs and 1,878 came from enterprises.