Will Cloud Growth Come at the Cost of Data Security?

Friday, July 26th, 2013

A recent study conducted by Ponemon Institute revealed that enterprises are quick to jump on the cloud, yet most are taking fewer precautions when it comes to transferring data of a confidential or sensitive nature. 4,205 business and IT managers responded to the study, providing insight into the confidence they have in their own security measures, their encryption practices, and illustrating just who they believe is ultimately responsible for data management and cloud security.

Cloud Security

Enterprises are less confident in their own cloud security capabilities.
46 percent of respondents said they are not confident in their enterprise’s ability to safeguard their own data after it’s transferred to the cloud provider, and 44 percent have the same reservations about their data before it’s transferred. These numbers are up from last year’s survey, indicating that enterprises increasingly lack confidence in their ability to independently safeguard their own data. Despite these doubts, transferring confidential and sensitive data to the cloud is a regular practice for over half of the respondents, a practice that is up ten percent from last year.

Transfer of non-encrypted confidential data is on the rise.
53 percent of respondents confessed that they transfer sensitive or confidential data to the cloud regardless of whether it’s been encrypted or not – a four percent increase from last year’s survey. Another 31 percent of respondents admitted that they intend to transfer non-encrypted sensitive or confidential data over the next few years.

The majority of encryption is temporary.
37 percent of respondents confirmed that their enterprise encrypts data temporarily en route to the cloud service provider, while 31 percent said they are consistent with data encryption, encrypting before the data is sent, and then ensuring their data remains encrypted within the cloud. The number of respondents who take these precautions is down four percent compared to last year.

Enterprises think cloud provider is responsible for their data’s security.
33 percent of respondents believed the cloud service provider is responsible for protecting their enterprise’s sensitive data. 60 percent of respondents thought that SaaS providers specifically should be responsible for the security of their enterprise’s data, while only 43 percent felt that IaaS providers should be responsible.
Whether an enterprise is using the cloud exclusively or only partially employing server backup, it’s important to be proactive in preventing security breaches and data loss. Stricter encryption practices and the use of a cloud restore backup service are the ounce of prevention for deadly data disasters.

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