March 7, 2016

Rise of cloud computing sparks security concerns

Survey shows many businesses deploy extra defenses to guard against security breaches and data loss.

By Ben Ames

Companies across the supply chain are turning to cloud computing for tasks ranging from transportation management systems (TMS) to global trade management (GTM), but the approach also demands a renewed dedication to IT security, a new study warns.

Running logistics applications in a remote cloud instead of on in-house computer hardware can help an organization cut its IT management costs and even improve overall network security. However, by outsourcing these software functions, businesses also open the door to different security threats such as security breaches, data loss, or service traffic hijacking, the report found.

The positive news is that companies appear to be getting the message. Last December, Clutch, a B2B research firm, surveyed 300 U.S. companies—including logistics firms—with more than 100 employees. It found that three-quarters of respondents adopt additional security measures beyond what their cloud computing service provider offers. The results showed that businesses with cloud computing networks implemented additional security in the areas of data encryption (61 percent), identity access policies (52 percent), and regular audits (48 percent).

About 64 percent said cloud infrastructure is more secure than older legacy systems, thanks to sophisticated monitoring systems, multilayered security safeguards, and centralized management. Additional security measures are required because cloud computing poses different threats than do private networks, Clutch said.

One of the challenges for users is that each cloud computing provider offers a different mix of security layers and defenses. The lack of homogeneity compels most users to deploy extra services to fill in the gaps, and to then build a unified wall across all their apps and business processes, the Clutch survey showed.

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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