Is cloud computing a data centre in the sky?

Research by Infosecurity Europe of 1000 commuters aimed to find out if office workers understand ‘geek speak’ has discovered that many are not as tech or security aware as they could be.

When asked what cloud computing meant, a quarter thought it was a data centre in the sky. A fifth thought it was something that Microsoft advertises, 10% global warming caused by overheating computers and 10% guessed it was a trendy club in SoHo. Only 35% thought it was a new way to access IT services over the internet. The survey was conducted in the run up to Infosecurity Europe the number one dedicated Information security event which takes place next week on 19th – 21st April 2011 at Earls Court, London

In answer to the question ‘What makes Smartphones smart?’ a third of commuters thought it was because they look really cool, 46% correctly said it was because they can run applications and also email and web browsers, 9% said it was because they use artificial intelligence. A small minority said it was because smartphones can tell the time in 137 languages or contain nanobots.

When asked what android is, a third said a new Science Fiction film, 10% a new robot invention and 17% said it was Darth Vader’s father! A miserable 4 out of 10 people correctly said it was an operating system for mobile phones.

Claire Sellick, Event Director for Infosecurity Europe said, “It was surprising that when asked what a computer cracker was, a fifth thought it was a new food for technology freaks, a third a powerful new computer chip, and a few said it was slang for a cocaine user. Only 46% gave the correct answer of someone who breaks into computer systems illegally. Those on the dark side of IT often prey on peoples ignorance.“

Many commuters also did not have a clue about malware either as a third thought it was a new form of advertising on mobile phones, and a fifth Clothes made from recycled materials. Only 30% said it was Software designed to harm their computer, and the rest said it was a viral infection.”

Sellick continued, “ A visit to the Infosecurity Europe next week will help business leaders and IT professionals gain a deeper understanding of information security issues and brush up on their geek speak as we have over 100 speakers in the free education program, 300 exhibitors and expect over 12,000 visitors to attend.”

When asked about how they use phones for work, 90% of people said they now have work related information, saved on their home computer or personal mobile and 81% said they kept sensitive information from their employers on their personal mobiles. Only 4 out of 10 said the data was protected by encryption. Half of people knew the password for their phone, whilst a third did not use one and 17% could not remember what it was.

When asked whose data they thought was most important to protect, four fifths said their own data and only 16% said sensitive customer data, and 5% their employer’s data.

Many found defining “Consumerisation of IT” tricky, the majority thought it was buying too many computers, iPhones, iPods, games, televisions and gadgets. A fifth were nearly correct in answering, ‘it was consumers who make their own IT’. A few thought it was using up all their computers disk space. Just 22% gave the correct answer of “People using their own IT at work as it is better than their employers”.

A third thought ‘Virtualisation’, was a 3D game, 22% a new way of problem solving and 12% a form of hypnosis. A third correctly identified ‘Virtualisation’ as the creation of a virtual version of hardware, software or an operating system.

The survey of multi choice questions was carried out with 1000 business commuters at London Victoria, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street train stations in April 2011.

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