Cloud First, Encryption Second? - HyTrust

Cloud First, Encryption Second?

Many do not consider the government an early adopter of technology or an operator of data centers at the bleeding edge of innovation. The Cloud First initiative was meant to drive greater adoption of cloud computing amongst government organizations to help achieve cost savings and all the other wonderful advantages that are driving commercial enterprises to embrace cloud computing. Clearly commercial enterprises are embracing cloud. According to a recent cloud computing research report from Gartner, by 2020, “a corporate ‘no cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no internet’ policy today.”

As a provider of cloud workload security solutions, HyTrust is always interested in cloud adoption trends and security issues. HyTrust just wrapped up a government cloud adoption study where it surveyed government agencies to get a read on where they are with cloud adoption. Earlier this year HyTrust also announced the results of a cloud adoption survey that spanned all industries, not just government. It provides an interesting comparison of cloud adoption.

It comes as no surprise that security was named as the top concern with cloud adoption for government agencies. In fact, among government agencies it was a top concern for 88% of those surveyed, twice the 44% of enterprises that also rated it as a top concern. Clearly government agencies are concerned about security, a factor that may have slowed the Cloud First initiative and greater cloud adoption among government. Interestingly, despite a significant concern for security among government agencies, encryption was not in use by 20% of those surveyed. The good news is that they are arguably better off protecting information since the HyTrust cloud survey from earlier this year indicated that across all hytrust-government-surveyindustries, 28% were using no encryption in cloud deployments.

Encryption is important as a data security measure and how encryption is deployed can vary. HyTrust asked about the use of encryption provided by a cloud provider and a combination of bring-your-own encryption. 41% of government agencies indicated that they are using third party encryption with their cloud providers. From the cross-industry survey, only 28% of enterprises indicated that they were using third party encryption instead of the cloud provider encryption, highlighting a potential desire for greater control among government agencies for their cloud encryption needs. One advantage of using a third party encryption for cloud deployment is a greater control of encryption, in particular the encryption keys.

Related to control is how many cloud providers are in use at an organization. The survey found that among government agencies, only 39% indicated that they intend to use multiple cloud providers, much lower than the 64% of enterprises from the cross industry survey that indicated that they were intending to use multiple cloud providers.

Take a look at the HyTrust government cloud adoption survey to see all of the results from the survey.

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