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Security vs. Productivity in the Cloud

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The cloud is a terrific tool for letting people work faster and smarter, but a poll by government IT workers opines that the cloud is not secure enough to meet government standards.

The survey, done by Dell and Dimensional Research, included responses from IT professionals and business users.  Summing it up, users see security as interfering with productivity.  An overwhelming 91% said that they felt their productivity was negatively impacted by the security measures enacted by their employers, yet 87% also said that security is a higher priority than convenience.

A big issue for the IT professionals was that 97% feel there would be great benefit for security to take the context of the access account request into account and 93% said that the lack of context-aware security causes challenges, though less than 30% have embraced it.  60% said that lacks of leadership awareness was the biggest roadblock in implementing it.  77% of IT professionals also say they think cloud applications increase productivity, but 74% also said that security concerns have prevented greater use of the cloud.

Both sides, then, think using cloud applications is beneficial, but everyone remains aware of and concerned about security risks, and with good reason.  With hacking on the rise, many of the more devastating cyberattacks, like the OPM attack a few months ago, cybersecurity is a big and growing concern.  A lot of the recent attacks have been possible due to lack of cybersecurity basics: weak passwords or opening email attachments.  Once a hacker gets a toehold in a system, they're often able to inch their way in until they have much greater access.  From there it's like falling dominoes.

While businesses and the government both are trying to ramp up cybersecurity, the trick is balancing productivity and safety.  Look for this to remain a balancing act for a long time to come.