Fear Factor: Why Security Is Still The Cloud's Biggest Hurdle

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Overall, the industry is making steady progress in chipping away at cloud security challenges, including meeting the compliance needs of highly regulated industries, experts said.

"As cloud providers get more experience and exposure to certain businesses such as banks, they'll get more comfortable with the regulations, and if they can get these requirements in place, they can attract even more business from the financial sector," said Tony Meholic, senior vice president and chief security officer at The Bancorp Bank, a commercial bank based in Wilmington, Del.

The CSA, he added, "will help to promulgate a good vision and focus for migration to the cloud."

Experts said they expect the industry will move toward a mixture of public and private cloud services, giving companies the option of more control and visibility into their sensitive data.

"I have not heard anyone say, 'We're pulling back from cloud,' " the CSA's Reavis said. "Generally, it isn't a failure that moves an organization to a private cloud; it's the need for specific granular control or visibility that they weren't getting from a public cloud provider."

According to Productive Corp.'s O'Bert, cloud adoption will be a long, evolving process and the channel will adapt to buying trends for systems and services.

"It's all still endpoints and servers. Organizations are still going to need the technology and going to need to pay for it," O'Bert said. "People every day are getting more comfortable with the fact that their data doesn't reside on that endpoint device or even on the server down the hall. The longer people are comfortable with that, the more that it will change the way they buy, procure and use the technology that protects them."

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