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Security still top concern with cloud, despite Amazon outage

Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld | April 28, 2011
Despite the heightened focus on cloud availability and uptime caused by Amazon's prolonged service outage last week, security will likely remain the bigger long-term concern for enterprises, analysts say.

Failures of the sort that happened last week will happen again, and it's up to enterprises to ensure that they have measures in place to mitigate any resulting service disruptions, Penn noted.

Over the longer term, the thornier issue for most companies will continue to be data security. Forrester's clients have consistently rated security as their top concern with cloud computing, ahead of other issues such as performance and availability, Penn said.

That is unlikely to change for some time, according to Penn. It is still a bigger "inhibitor of adoption" compared to any other factors, he said.

"I do think this outage may result in more organizations realizing that the cloud isn't perfectly reliable," said Rich Mogull, an analyst at Securosis.

"I've always advised clients that you can't count on the cloud just because it's the cloud," he said. "Any service is prone to outage, and you need to determine your reliability requirements and plan to meet them."

However, it would be a mistake to treat reliability and security as two separate issues, Mogull added. "They are two equally important questions, and whichever is more important will depend on the organization."


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