Cloud security lacking, majority of business owners acknowledge

The vastness and capability of cloud computing are such that its use is likely to grow with time. But as the cloud advances, so too do the security risks, as hackers come up with increasingly sophisticated ways to penetrate private information for nefarious purposes.

It's because of this sad-but-truism that the vast majority of Canadian businesses recognize they're not doing enough to protect their interests in the cloud, a new survey suggests.

Almost 80 percent of organizations based in Canada – 77 percent – acknowledge that they're not crossing all their t's and dotting all their i's pertaining to cybersecurity in the cloud, a recent poll conducted by Scalar Decisions, Inc. discovered. More specifically, 54 percent of respondents admitted that they had yet to implement security protocols pertaining to data classification and accountability, 57 percent hadn't instituted client and endpoint protection and 48 percent failed to install access management controls.

More than half using cloud in some capacity
It's not as if the cloud is something Canadian business owners are unfamiliar with. To the contrary, as many as 60 percent of respondents said that they were currently using the cloud in some form or fashion. Despite this, though, less than half did not have a cloud security policy established, the poll found. If participants had only one issue they could correct, this would be the one, as 75 percent said security needed to be addressed more forcefully.

What's preventing Canadian entrepreneurs from protecting themselves and their capital interests? It may derive from their limited acquaintance with the cloud at the granular level, noted Neil Bunn, Scalar Decisions chief technology officer. In other words, businesses may know what the cloud is at the macro level, but not from a micro perspective.

"Utilization and understanding of the cloud is low," Bunn explained. "Security remains the number one expressed concern across all levels of cloud experience, yet there is an evident disconnect between organizations' worries regarding cloud security and the actions being taken to mitigate the existing risks."

Fortifying cloud security top resolution
The new year is a great time to do some of the things that one neglected in the year that was, and with 2017 on the horizon, owners are intent on making their IT security a top priority, a separate poll discovered. Close to three-quarters of businesses surveyed by Microsoft Canada listed implementing a digital strategy as among their top five professional goals in the new year. Additionally, 8 in 10 respondents – 81 percent – said the cloud would have a role in how their digital strategies were executed.

At the same time, though, entrepreneurs want a partner in their cloud security management efforts. Ninety percent of respondents in the Microsoft Canada poll said they felt it was important for cloud providers to ferret out cybercriminals wherever they lurk and to synchronize these efforts with the appropriate law enforcement entities and government officials.

Microsoft Canada President Janet Kennedy said that the company is doing everything it can to be of assistance, including having recently launched data centers in both Quebec City and Ontario.