PAYE umbrella contractors working in the IT skills market will be well aware that cloud computing technology is on the rise but, according to a leading security expert, it may also pose a “huge risk” for some businesses.

Hewlett-Packard’s Senior Director of Products, Application Lifecycle Management Software, Subbu Iyer, was speaking after the release of a report from the EU which endorsed cloud computing enthusiastically, highlighting its potential cost savings and the revenues associated with the technology. But Mr Iyer points out that many small firms who may be considering the technology are unlikely to have a security information team, a deficit which could expose them to significant security risks.

IT contracting may see something of a surge in demand as a result, as increasing numbers of firms seek to benefit from the cloud’s advantages. But My Iyer was at pains to highlight the “substantial risks” faced by newcomers to the technology, adding that security, availability and performance are regularly cited as the top three concerns inhibiting the wider uptake of cloud computing.

Number one on the list, Mr Iyer noted, was security. “It’s a huge concern,” he added. If companies are moving a critical business process completely onto the cloud, he continued, “the first area that chief information officers are concerned with is, ‘Is it secure?’”

Iyer believes that security concerns are playing a major role in both cloud technology and mobile computing – both of them central to the new economy. “There are a lot of applications being purpose built for mobile phones,” he noted. “How do you ensure that those are secure?”

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