Cloud computing security risks are sometimes considered greater than cloud’s rewards. The industry is working to change that, and so can you.

By James A. Martin
Cloud computing offers many compelling benefits to organizations, such as reduced capital and operating costs and as-needed scalability. So why aren’t more businesses taking advantage of the on-demand computing resources services collectively known as ‘the cloud’?

Security concerns are easily the number one inhibitor to deploying the cloud,” says Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president of Global Enterprise and Consumer Research, Yankee Group. “It just gives some people cause for concern.”

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Although no form of computing is entirely risk-free 100 percent of the time, cloud computing isn’t necessarily any more or less secure than non-virtualized or non-cloud environments, says Christofer Hoff, director of cloud and virtualization solutions for Cisco’s Security Technology Business Unit and author of the Rational Survivability blog.

“It’s how organizations deploy and manage cloud computing that makes the difference,” Hoff explains.

Fortunately, Cisco, its service provider partners and others in the cloud computing industry are collaborating to provide ever-greater security, visibility and control to consumers of cloud services, Hoff adds. And there are plenty of things enterprises can do to take advantage of cloud computing’s benefits without compromising security.

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