Cloud Computing going Strong Despite Concerns over Cybersecurity

March 4, 2013

Network security has become a huge issue in 2013, as a recent surge in cyberattacks has put corporations in danger of having their information compromised – especially those corporations that have adopted cloud computing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that although the recent attacks have caused a number of companies to ramp up security efforts, none have been completely deterred from adopting the cloud thus far.

IDC analyst Phil Hochmuth told the Journal that while cyberattacks always lead to a wave of uncertainty, it's worth noting in this case that very few hacks have affected public cloud providers. Still, he suggested that it's worth assessing the potential risks and rewards of adopting the cloud versus possibly losing data to a breach.

"For most financial services companies, data is their most critical asset," Freddie Mac CIO Rob Lux said. "While there are viable security threats regardless of whether you host in-house or via a cloud provider, when it comes to data, we generally prefer to keep it as close to home as possible."

The source of the attacks
The New York Times recently reported recently that nearly every single one of the recent cyberattacks on American corporations has come from the same neighborhood – in Shanghai, where the Chinese military's cybercommand is headquartered. The Chinese government still insists it is not behind the attacks.

The U.S. government has been uncertain about exactly how direct it wants to be in confronting China over these attacks. Attorney General Eric Holder mentioned China by name last week in a speech on protecting intellectual property. President Obama, however, has avoided calling out the Chinese.

The president did say that "our enemies are … seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions and our air traffic control systems" in his State of the Union address, but he stopped short of identifying those "enemies." The United States' ties with China are complex, as the nation is both a competitor and a key customer on the global market.

There is certainly concern that as security worries mount, corporations will deem the jump into cloud computing too risky, holding off for the time being as a result. But the numbers don't lie – cloud participation keeps rising nonetheless, up 11 percent since 2011, according to a recent CDW report. The risks are still there, but the movement goes on.