Public Services > Central Government

Cyber security tops CIOs' cloud concerns

Charlotte Jee Published 04 December 2012

87% express concern about IT security risks


A study of public sector chief information officers (CIOs) has found that 87% of respondents are either concerned or very concerned about the risks associated with IT security breaches when migrating their technology functions to the cloud.

However, only 40% of those surveyed actually test cloud vendors' security systems and procedures.

Other measures the CIOs under question have adopted to counter the cyber security threat include improving physical security (50%), identifying management systems (37%), developing business continuity processes (33%) and relying on an external audit provider (13%).

The study, which was conducted by market research firm Market Probe, also found that 13% of CIOs questioned said that they were "not taking any proactive action to address cyber security". Furthermore, 10% said that they were "not concerned" about cyber security.

These findings come in the wake of recent research which found that there has been a 27% increase in first-time users of cloud services over the past 18 months, with the rate of adoption accelerating over the last nine months.

Based on the study, which was conducted by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and released in September 2012, CIF expects that by the end of 2013, over 75% of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service and 80% of current users will be spending more on cloud services.

CIF research published in July 2012 found that public and private sector organisations are now almost equally likely to have adopted cloud (62% and 61% respectively). This is a shift from previous studies which have tended to find that the private sector was ahead of the public sector regarding cloud adoption.

Commenting on the findings, Phil Sheridan, Managing Director of Robert Half Technology said, "Looking towards 2013, CIOs are charged with juggling multiple priorities...but the risks of not migrating to the cloud, notably the achievement of significant cost reductions, may outweigh the potential security risks that concern IT executives.

"Budgets continue to be stretched and any potential cost savings that IT can deliver will be welcomed throughout the business."

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