Freebies take precedence over security

by Sharon Lobo    Sep 02, 2010

Sharon LoboAdopting any new technology for business gives jitters to IT decision makers, and the cloud is no different. Over the past couple of years there have been a number of forums, where analysts and vendors have time and again highlighted the benefits the cloud, but somehow most IT decision makers still find security as the biggest hurdle in embracing cloud computing. My question is - are CIOs and CTOs genuinely worried about security or are they just using the issue of security as an excuse?

Last week, KPMG had released a report on how consumers use technology. The report showed that, in India, 78 percent of consumers were concerned of unauthorized access to their personal information. However, 65 percent were willing to give up their on-line personal information in return for something of value. This paradoxical view of privacy doesn’t stop here and in fact pours into the cloud.

On the cloud computing front, the report revealed an astonishing fact. Worldwide, 66 percent consumers have used some type of cloud service, while in India the cloud penetration stood at 88 percent, which is apparently one of the highest worldwide. Even in developed countries such as US and Germany, only 51 percent and 27 percent consumers respectively used the cloud. So, how come India has such a large base of cloud users?

The primary reasons for such a mass adoption of cloud in India are the various free email, social networking, photo sharing, and video sharing services. Now these services never promise you that your personal details and data is100 percent secure. Yet this fact does not deter people from using such services, even a number of enterprises use these services. However, when firms have to intentionally adopt such technologies for their business, they always get bit by the paranoia bug.

Before being suspicious about a technology, we need to understand that no technology is 100 percent secure. Also, it is a known fact that the biggest security threat company’s face these days are from internal sources than external ones. So it is time we not only change our perception of the cloud but also of emerging technologies or they may die an untimely death.