Cloud computing is rapidly gaining wide acceptance both in the IT industry and the world at large. Social networking, one of the most basic examples of cloud usage, has taken off in recent years and now SMBs are getting in on the game, spending more and more money to transfer some or all of their data to virtual or cloud-based servers. Recent research data indicates that the cloud industry has now topped $37 billion in value and if it stays on track, will hit $121 billion by 2015. By 2020, estimates have the number of Internet users at large growing tenfold from 1 billion to 10 billion, meaning that getting on the Web and getting properly hosted is going to be an essential task for businesses.
In spite of this data, however, many companies are hesitant to make the switch to the cloud. Why? One word: Security. As soon as data leaves the hands of a local IT and is placed in a virtual or cloud computing environment, there is a natural loss of control over that data, and an acceptance that the provider will do everything they can to keep it safe and accessible only to those with the right permissions. Unfortunately, first-generation cloud providers have often been lax on security and data control, leading to valid concerns by client companies. Now, things such as hosted key management and data encryption are being refined in order to give companies the security they are accustomed to but with their data out of the larger world of the cloud.
While no absolutely iron-clad techniques yet exist for data security, this area of development is essential in order to maximize acceptance of the cloud on a large scale.