Security of cloud computing to be in focus in the Middle East

Published October 9th, 2011 - 10:22 GMT
Cloud is here to stay; it is really a game-changer; and really it's transforming the world of traditional IT
Cloud is here to stay; it is really a game-changer; and really it's transforming the world of traditional IT

Cloud computing and the security issues it poses are set to be hot topics at Gitex this week, experts and industry leaders say. While companies are keen to adopt cloud computing — which allows remote data storage and access to information from multiple locations — they are concerned about the potential for hacking attacks and security breaches.

Bulent Teksoz, chief security strategist for emerging markets, cited the findings of a survey by Symantec, which revealed that almost half of the respondents believed that their IT departments were not ready to move to cloud. “Findings from this survey reinforce what our customers are telling us and mirror attitudes that we are currently seeing in this part of the world towards cloud adoption with security currently being one of the top concerns for organisations across the Middle East” Teksoz said.

“To be confident in the cloud, IT organisations must take measures to ensure they have the same visibility and control of their information and applications whether they are in the cloud or residing on their own infrastructure — especially in light of recent intelligence that points to a rise in targeted attacks in this region.”

Conflict

According to the survey, organisations are conflicted about security — rating it both as a top goal and as a top concern with moving to the cloud. Eighty-seven percent of respondents are confident that moving to the cloud will not impact or will actually improve their security. However, achieving security for cloud environments is also a top concern for these organisations, which cited potential risks, including malware, hacker-based theft and loss of confidential data.

“With the cloud, everything depends on how you secure your data,” said the CTO of a small technology company. “If there’s no security, there’s no point in moving to the cloud.” Meanwhile, in an effort to educate potential customers in the benefits of cloud computing, Huawei, an ICT firm, will be demonstrating cloud solutions at Gitex.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the public cloud segment is set to flourish with cloud servers expected to grow from an $8.4 billion market opportunity in 2010 to $12.6 billion by 2014. “Cloud is here to stay; it is really a game-changer; and really it's transforming the world of traditional IT”, said Ronald Raffensperger, director of cloud computing marketing at Huawei.

“We now see cloud moving up the decision-making chain; from IT managers up to the C-level decision-makers who recognise that IT investments must be integrated with the rest of the business to achieve their full transformative potential”. Gitex Cloud Conference is being held this week as part of the event at the Dubai International Conference and Exhibition Centre.

Bulent Teksoz, Security strategist


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