Asia SMBs need industry standards to gain cloud security confidence

Stringent industry standards and greater transparency on vendors’ parts have been named as the two factors that will boost non-cloud APAC SMB users’ confidence in the cloud’s security, says a survey.

Conducted by comScore and commissioned by Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing unit, the survey quizzed some 400 cloud and non-cloud SMB users in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong and the United States on their views of cloud security, with the United States functioning as an out-of-region baseline. Respondents had between 100 and 250 PCs and were not all Microsoft customers.
 
Survey results showed that 61% of respondents who do not use cloud computing cited the lack of industry security standards as key reason behind their reluctance. Almost the same percentage (59%) of these non-cloud users indicated more transparency on vendors’ parts would greatly boost their confidence in the cloud’s security. A further 44% of these respondents expressed concern over how a cloud provider would secure the company’s data. Transitioning cost to the cloud (46%) was also cited as an adoption barrier.
 
GM for Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Adrienne Hall told SecurityAsia in an interview the survey’s results were not surprising considering early barriers to the adoption of most technologies. “Like anything new that comes along, there’s a perceived barrier to adoption and it’s up to technology providers to help companies overcome these obstacles,” said Hall.
 
Hall added SMBs’ perception barriers toward cloud security could be overcome if cloud providers embarked on a drive to gain credibility and increase transparency, such as attaining ISO27001 certification and taking part in the STAR initiative started by the Cloud Security Alliance. Potential enterprises could then independently access the quality of potential cloud provider candidates.