Survey: Cost of cloud may be top priority over security

Tuesday - 7/12/2011, 3:15pm EDT

By Courtney Thompson
Federal News Radio

Increasingly, IT security professionals are considering the costs and benefits associated with the transition to cloud computing, according to a recent informational survey.

The nCircle 2011 Information Cloud Computing Study highlighted a 3 percent increase in the number of organizations interested in cloud computing and highlighted some concerns about cost and security providers.

"Government as well as industry is clearly responding to the potential cost savings of the cloud and taking cloud services more seriously. When organizations get serious about cloud, security measures come into greater perspective," said Keren Cummins, federal markets director at nCircle.

nCircle , which is a provider of compliance auditing and automated security solutions, released the results of its IT survey that involved 551 IT experts including senior managers, risk and audit managers as well as IT operations and security professionals. The press release stated that 20 percent of the survey participants were from the government.

The study concluded that 32 percent of IT professionals considered saving money as a top concern for their organizations. The number of professionals who thought cutting costs was more important for their agencies than other security factors had increased from 26 percent in 2010.

Also, 69 percent of agency representatives are considering cloud computing as well as using cloud vendors that comply with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) or Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards to safely manage secure information, according to the release. The results also showed the number of agencies interested in PCI and FISMA coverage had increased by 6 percent in 2010.

"As such, we anticipate a strong, unified push from government to actively assess the security of cloud vendors, similar to the way we have seen select agencies such as Medicare assess the security of their data center providers," Cummins stated.

Like the IT community, Medicare has also been taking steps to increase the safety and security of its information through a more secure service provider.

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Courtney Thompson is an intern with Federal News Radio.

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