According to a new global report, public cloud usage is not only increasing but generating benefits across regions, including Asia.
Thiban Darmalingam (pic below), the regional manager of cloud-connected security and storage solutions provider Barracuda Networks (Barracuda) in Malaysia, said the research report - 'Unlocking the Benefits of Public Cloud' - set out to examine respondents' use of public cloud, the benefits of public cloud, the challenges with public cloud as well as public security.
"This report noted the ongoing increase in public cloud usage globally, with many organisations seeing substantial process and financial benefits," said Darmalingam.
Indeed, 99 percent of the respondents said that their organisation has seen benefits as a result of moving to the public cloud, including greater scalability and reduced IT expenditures, he said.
"This means that organisations are growing more comfortable with hybrid environments that deploy a range of public cloud services along with more traditional on-premises infrastructure," said Darmalingam.
He pointed to another finding: Many organisations do not use a single cloud provider for everything, and cited a number of reasons for this. Top of mind was that different providers had different strengths (63 percent), followed by the view that this increased security (51 percent) and helped keep costs down (42 percent).
"Organisations have nearly 40 percent of their infrastructure in the public cloud today, with the expectation to increase this to 70 percent over the next five years," added Darmalingam.
While four out of 10 reported that their organisation relied on public cloud deployments to expand their services, often replicating those over multiple regions, 30 percent said they only migrated selected services to the cloud and kept the balance on premises.
"However, organisations need to select cloud-ready security solutions that are designed for the new architectures and capabilities enabled by public and hybrid cloud adoption," he said.
Security and responsibility
Adding his comments on the security aspects, Hatem Naguib, who is Barracuda's senior vice president and general manager of Security, confirmed that 91 percent of organisations said they worried about their use of public cloud, with cyberattacks being the chief concern at 54 percent. Phishing (50 percent), DDoS (47 percent), APTs (45 percent), and ransomware (41 percent) were the main threats that most concerned them.
More than half (56 percent) had experienced at least one cyberattack, and found that the average number of attacks an organisation had seen were five, said Naguib, adding that the challenge with security was further heightened with the information organisations are storing in public clouds: More than 50 percent of all organisations store some type of personal data (personnel records, medical records, etc.) in the public cloud, and nearly the same percent (55 percent) store customer order history.
Moving on, Darmalingam said: "However, there are still a significant number of organisations that are not clear on the shared security model and the implication to their data and applications."
He said while the report clearly underlines increasing cloud adoption, many organisations said they were unclear about cloud security responsibility.
"Security remains to be the biggest challenge when it comes to using the public cloud - 71 percent felt that security concerns restricted their ability to migrate workloads to the public cloud," said Darmalingam.
Talking of the Shared Responsibility Security Model - where cloud providers are responsible for the security of the cloud, while organisations using the cloud are responsible for the security of what they put in the cloud, he said that 71 percent felt the cloud provider was responsible for customer data in the public cloud, and 66 percent for applications in the public cloud. Additionally, 52 percent were confident that their move to the cloud was secure, with three in five - 62 percent - responding that they had included additional security solutions in their public cloud infrastructure.
What the report recommends
Darmalingam said organisations are now often ending up with multiple cloud providers, as well as having an on-premises (legacy) infrastructure.
This can have implications on complexity and overall costs; it's further exacerbated when third-party solutions such as security are added to the mix. Therefore, customers are advised to look for third parties who support a wide range of ecosystems with the same or similar solutions.
He said as customers weigh licensing options - by usage, per hour, unlimited, etc., - "we see customers beginning to understand how they can leverage different ones to gain greater cost controls. This becomes more important when third-party vendors are added to the mix. Customers value when third parties offer equivalent licensing options to how the customer is licensing their public cloud infrastructure."
Darmalingam said that companies using the most common security routine - routing branch locations' traffic through a central security solution - generally find these solutions lack scale and cost benefits as their cloud leverage increases.
Companies that look at distributed security solutions, such as next-generation firewalls and web application firewalls, closer to the point of access reduce those issues, but find new ones in managing multiple devices, he said.
Darmalingam said: "Look for vendors who can provide a common management scheme - either in their products or using public cloud security infrastructures - to simplify managing and monitoring ongoing security."
Commissioned by Barracuda and conducted by Vanson Bourne, the research surveyed 1,300 IT decision makers from organizations using public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and from Asia Pacific (APAC). Of the 450 APAC IT decision makers who participated in the survey, 150 of them were from ASEAN countries Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
For some other news of Barracuda in Malaysia, see:
- Barracuda shows 'economical' path to operating cloud environments
- Barracuda Malaysia announces IoT-ready firewall family
- Barracuda advises Malaysian MSPs to tackle phishing with Essentials for Office 365, Intronis combo
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