Sensitive data resides in the cloud

With the vast majority of enterprises now making use of cloud environments, 54 percent globally reported keeping sensitive information within the cloud, according to Vormetric. With databases and file servers typically rated as top risks for storage of sensitive information, they are now also joined by big data environments – with big data (31 percent) seen by ITDMs as slightly more at risk than file servers (29 percent).

Although these numbers indicate that the benefits from cloud platforms are driving adoption, most IT decision makers have concerns about relinquishing security and control when they deploy cloud technology. 46 percent express concerns that market pressures are forcing them to use cloud services.

Cloud environments (46 percent) outpace databases (37 percent) and file servers (29 percent) as the location perceived as being the greatest risk by enterprise organizations. Additionally the risks associated with big data initiatives (31 percent) are now seen as greater than that of file server environments.

“The safety and security of cloud environments is a key concern for enterprises across the globe,” said John Engates, CTO of Rackspace. “The results of this report highlight the need for addressing the risk of data breaches and compliance in the enterprise. The Rackspace managed cloud can provide enterprise customers with security best practices to help them implement appropriate security measures to protect their data.”

When U.S. respondents were asked about the top data security concerns for cloud services:

  • 82 percent note lack of control over the location of data
  • 79 percent cite increased vulnerabilities from shared infrastructure
  • 78 percent call out privileged user abuse at the cloud provider.

In addition, for cloud service providers who want to grow their enterprise business, the global respondents cited the top four changes that would increase their willingness to use cloud services:

  • 55 percent asked for encryption of data with enterprise key control on their premises
  • 52 percent selected encryption of their organization’s data within the service provider’s infrastructure
  • 52 percent also want service level commitments and liability terms for a data breach
  • 48 percent desire explicit security descriptions and compliance commitment.

“The data shows that U.S. IT decision makers are conflicted about their cloud deployments,” said Alan Kessler, CEO of Vormetric. “Market pressures and the benefits of cloud service use are strong, but enterprises have serious security concerns around these environments. There is enormous anxiety over how sensitive data and systems can best be protected, with lack of control listed as the number one worry among U.S. respondents. For cloud service providers to increase their footprint in the enterprise, they must address enterprise requirements around security, data protection and data management. More specifically, cloud service providers need to provide better protection and visibility to their customers.”

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