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    Security remains top concern for cloud users

    Cloud service providers and security groups have the responsibility of not just improving their technologies, but also spreading awareness of their techniques.

    Cloud computing has become an integral part of the global business world, leading to a range of workplace efficiencies and data storage capabilities, among other benefits. For many users, it has eliminated the need for a specific place of work. Information sharing no longer has a set zip code. Yet despite its rapid immersion, cloud computing still has plenty of room for growth. With that in mind, what's holding it back?

    The results of a pair of surveys that focused on cloud computing services indicate that security continues to a main concern for IT managers. And in some cases, this threat may be decelerating the progress of cloud's global proliferation.

    Survey finds near-unanimous concern for security
    A recent survey by NaviSite, Inc., a Time Warner Cable company, found that nearly one-third of respondents have switched "a significant amount" (50-70 percent) of IT infrastructure to the cloud. However, the survey also pointed out that while IT managers are becoming more comfortable with these services, nearly all of the respondents expressed at least some level of concern with cloud security. Approximately 48 percent of respondents referred to security as one of their top three concerns.

    "While enterprises have made significant headway toward realizing a cloud-enabled IT infrastructure, the survey does highlight pressing challenges around security, compliance, and enabling workforce mobility that continue to remain top-of-mind for IT decision makers," said Sumeet Sabharwal, general manager for NaviSite.

    Security issues may be deterring cloud use in Europe
    Eurostat, the statistics service of the European Commission, also conducted a survey on cloud computing and found that 24 percent of large enterprises in the European Union are using the technology, according to Computer Weekly. That figure dropped to 12 percent when considering small and medium-sized enterprises.

    Yet no matter the continent, the song remains the same. Approximately 57 percent of large companies considered the risk of a security breach as their main concern. Small and medium-sized enterprises tallied a 38 percent mark for the same reason. The survey also said that a lack of relevant skills and data sovereignty may be hindering the spread of cloud computing.

    "Firms attach importance to the protection of their IT systems, but the issue can be seen in the wider context of resilience to possible security breaches when using the cloud," the Eurostat survey stated, according to the publication.

    Considering this global concern for data breaches, cloud service providers and security groups now have the responsibility of not just improving their technologies, but also spreading awareness of their techniques.