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AccelOps Cloud Security Survey: Network Security Trails Behind Cloud Usage

Responses underscore the critical need for visibility into security threats

AccelOps on Thursday announced its global survey of 140 IT security professionals found that while cloud usage continues to rise, cloud security remains stagnant. Results indicate that 73 percent of survey respondents are running a greater number of mission-critical applications in the cloud this year, while only 42 percent of respondents' networks are more secure. The survey was conducted at the recent Cloud Expo 2013 Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, Calif.

The survey's findings underscore the critical need for visibility into security threats. Ninety-two percent of respondents said visibility into potential network threats would be "very important" or "fairly important," and 77 percent of the respondents' organizations use multiple tools to monitor security and network performance.

"Without the tools to secure data and manage risk, organizations are not fully benefiting from their investment in the cloud," AccelOps President and CEO Flint Brenton said. "As migration to cloud and virtualized environments continue to rise, cloud security should be top of mind for all businesses."

Organizations' compliance requirements are widespread, with more than 65 percent saying they must comply with either Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLBA), Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT)  and/or North American Electric Reliability Corporation/Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC/FERC) regulations.

As a result of the need for visibility and ways to reduce risk, along with adhering to compliance requirements, IT managers' priorities for 2014 include: 1) Taking the pain out of compliance by using audit-tested, out of the box reports; 2) Consolidating security and monitoring tools to reach root cause more quickly; and 3) Being more diligent about securing data in the cloud.

Given the inhibitors identified and that fewer than half of those using cloud services have deployed a hybrid model, there is clearly a need for a single, unified platform that can identify security threats and monitor IT operations across traditional, private and public cloud infrastructures.

Summary of Findings:

  • 73 percent of respondents said their organizations are running more mission-critical applications in the cloud services than a year ago.
  • 42 percent of respondents said their network is more secure than a year ago.
  • Although 92 percent say knowing about future potential problems would be important, only 52 percent say that their current network tools warn them of future potential threats.
  • 26 percent of respondents said they use more than five tools to monitor security and network performance. Another 51 percent use two to four tools.
  • Despite running multiple IT monitoring tools, only 55 percent say they are able to correlate data from different tools to get to root cause of problems.
  • 37 percent say preparing for compliance audits is "a big distraction from our usual work" and "requires ‘all hands on deck' and takes days or weeks to complete."

AccelOps' software enhances cloud security by providing a "single pane of glass" view of security, performance, and availability information from almost any source across an organization's entire data center infrastructure - physical, virtual, on-premise or cloud-based. Patented real-time analytics technology cross-correlates log and event data with context in real time to make sense of complex IT patterns and events as they happen.

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