Three quarters of organisations’ IT infrastructure will run in the public cloud within five years, according to research published today, but security concerns remain a barrier.

The research by Barracuda Networks, which is detailed in a report entitled Future Shock: The Cloud Is the New Network, found that within five years, 76% of IT infrastructure used by companies will be in the public cloud, up from today’s 45%.

The public cloud covers computing services offered over the public internet, as opposed to cloud services where the infrastructure is owned and operated by the company using it. The public cloud, which is provided by a host of companies including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, offers lower set-up costs and far greater scalability than the private cloud.

However, despite the benefits and growing adoption rates, the report also found that 70% of organisations have limited their adoption of public cloud technologies over security concerns.

Security concerns in the public cloud

In particular, many organisations are concerned about the lack of security both in infrastructure and applications deployed in the public cloud, and the resulting risk of cyberattacks.

75% of those surveyed in the report, which focused on executives and experts with knowledge or responsibility of their organisations’ cloud infrastructure, said they had already been targeted by a cyberattack.

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By GlobalData

In many cases, organisations have faced multiple attacks, with UK respondents seeing an average of four cyberattacks against them.

However, there are security solutions that can protect organisations, in particular the software service known as secure software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), which provides a secure connection to public cloud services. This is one of the most popular solutions, although many organisations are still to deploy it.

23% have currently deployed SD-WAN, while 51% plan to have it fully deployed within 12 months.

“Considering the abundance of sophisticated cyberattacks that face organisations every day, it is no surprise to see that such a large percentage of business decision makers are still cautious when committing to public cloud IT infrastructure,” said Chris Hill, regional VP for public cloud at Barracuda Networks.

“However, organisations can and should take comfort in knowing that if their data and applications are properly protected using proven firewall defence services, and users are gaining access with the assistance of SD-WAN technology, there is no reason that public cloud should be deemed any less secure than traditional data storage or software infrastructure.”

Read more: Who is responsible for cloud security? It’s a bit foggy, finds McAfee