cloud security cloudtimes NSA Scandals Has Changed ICT Buyers Cloud Shopping BehaviorThe economic consequences of the NSA scandal are anything but marginal. But the effects in monetary terms are only part of the problem – the point is that Edward Snowden revelations of NSA scandal has changed the perception of IT industry towards cloud computing.

Nearly ninety percent of the ICT decision makers have changed their cloud shopping behavior, as a direct result of the allegations raised by Edward Snowden to the large-scale clandestine espionage network. This is the result of an action brought by NTT Communications to study cloud behavior after the NSA shock. The study “NSA Aftershocks: How Snowden has Changed IT Decision-Makers’ Approach to the Cloud” is based on a survey of 1,000 ICT decision-makers from France, Germany, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the USA.

The study took nine aspects of the day to move the company to a rethinking of the use of cloud computing. As per the finding, nearly nine tenths (88 percent) of surveyed IT managers change their purchasing behavior in cloud services – or have already done so; only five percent of respondents believe that the location of the storage of corporate data does not matter; 31 percent of IT decision makers to move data out to locations from which they know that they are safe there; about 62 percent of those who currently do not rely on the cloud, are convinced that the revelations have prevented from relocating their data to the cloud.

Further, IT managers now prefer a cloud service, which is located in their region – the highest approval rate for this comes from the EU with 97 percent, followed by decision-makers in the U.S. (92 percent); just over half of respondents (52 percent) consider the cloud providers far more accurate as before; 16 percent moves contracts with cloud service providers; more than four-fifths (84 percent) believe they need more training in the field of data protection; and 82 percent of all ICT decision makers in the world agrees with the proposals of NTT Communications to separate data networks.

The company says the findings show that the NSA allegations have hardened ICT decision-makers’ attitudes towards cloud computing, whether it is modifying procurement policies, scrutinizing potential suppliers or taking a heightened interest in where their data is stored.

Despite the scandal and global security threat, business executives need to remember that cloud platforms do help firms become more agile, and do help foster technology innovation, even in the most risk-averse organizations. ICT decision-makers are working hard to find ways to retain those benefits and protect the organization against being compromised in any way. There is optimism that the industry can solve these issues through restricting data movement and encryption of data.

The good thing is that this skepticism means more investment in security, more attention to the rules on data protection and controls on the conditions for reliance on cloud solutions. Companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other have started encrypting data and applying new security protocols to safeguard user privacy. Earlier this year, the White House launched an action plan surrounding the collection, availability, and use of big data and the growing use big data analytics and its potential impact on the future of privacy. The program is exploring an in-depth study to explore the technological dimensions of the intersection of big data and privacy.

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