Security concerns deter federal agencies from moving to the cloud

Two-thirds of government IT decision-makers said that security was the most important factor in their evaluations of cloud computing, according to the survey of 196 government IT decision-makers conducted by Market Connections for Lockheed Martin.

At the same time, 50% are considering going to the cloud, compared with only 12% in last year’s survey. Government IT decision-makers who are more familiar with cloud computing are more than twice as likely to trust the security measures.

“The government is making strides in transitioning to the cloud and we believe an intelligence-driven cybersecurity approach, and asking the penetrating questions regarding cloud governance, availability, and reliability are key to prudent adoption. Security concerns are the single biggest reason agencies cite for their slow adoption of cloud”, commented Curt Aubley, vice president of cybersecurity and NexGen innovation at Lockheed Martin.

Security wasn’t the only concern holding government agencies back from adopting cloud computing. At least three-quarters of respondents identified dependability, availability, and the ability to use existing applications as factors in their decisions on cloud computing. More than one-quarter said that they would never move mission-critical data management, procurement, and financial management systems to the cloud.

Cynthia Poole, research director at Market Connections, said, “One major takeaway is that nearly one-third of participants agreed that cloud-based computing is a good solution for all data and applications, which indicates that if security concerns can be addressed successfully, the cloud would be embraced wholeheartedly by a number of agencies.”

Companies that participate in the Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Alliance include APC by Schneider Electric, ArcSight, CA, Cisco, Dell, EMC² and its RSA security division, HP, Intel, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Microsoft, NetApp, Symantec, Trustwave, and VMware.

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