Symantec Study Reveals Hidden Costs of Cloud and Data Security Risks

A global survey has shown that it is very common that companies of all sizes suffer damage due to the use of public cloud applications that are not managed or integrated within the company’s IT infrastructure.

Symantec has released the results of a survey conducted by ReRez in the months of September and October 2012 entitled “Avoiding the Hidden Costs of the Cloud 2013” which involved more than 3200 companies from 29 countries divided between small and medium-sized companies from 5 employees to large enterprises with up to 5000 employees.

Symantec noted that over 90% of enterprises are at least discussing cloud computing, against 75% last year for the benefits inherent competitive gains arising in terms of speed, agility and flexibility. Among the findings, Symantec also noted great interest in the cloud, but the context that enterprise business and SMEs are experiencing an increase in costs related to the use of rogue cloud backup and complex recovery, and inefficient cloud storage procedures.

One-third of large companies had already lost once cloud data (for small and medium-sized companies the percentage is 24 percent), and more than half had also been problems with data recovery. Among the organizations that have experienced problems when working with cloud solutions, 40% are in a situation where confidential information is at stake, and more than a quarter of companies faced with cases of theft of accounts and some form of theft.

Widespread cloud solutions complicate the process of backing up and restoring data. First, most organizations simultaneously use three or more backup solutions to their physical, virtual and cloud-based information, which reduces efficiency and increases risks, and involves training costs. Moreover, 43% of companies indicated that they had to lose the information placed in the cloud, while 68% said one way or another they had problems with its restoration.

Most people refer to the process of recovery from the cloud is very slow and tedious. Only 32% of respondents described it as fast, while 22% said that after the loss of a significant amount of data recovery will take 3 days or more.

Research shows that ignoring the hidden costs will have a crucial impact on business but at the same time, these problems are easily mitigated through careful planning, implementation and management.

To overcome the issues, Symantec recommends four countermeasures: processes and rules should be based on people and information, not on the technology or platform; rules should be consistent and monitored strictly; it is critical to select a platform-independent IT tools; and deduplicating data in the cloud.

By taking control of cloud deployments, companies can seize advantage of the flexibility and cost savings associated with the cloud, while minimizing the data control and security risks linked with rogue cloud use.

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