How companies secure their cloud data

As companies accelerate their adoption of the cloud, the cloud data footprint is expected to grow to 6.5 zettabytes by 2018. This rapid migration of data into the cloud creates the need for insight into both cloud adoption trends and cloud data security issues.

“Organizations are harnessing cloud computing to more effectively compete in the global economy with faster time to market and cost efficiencies,” said Pravin Kothari, founder and CEO, CipherCloud. “At the same time, the headwinds of privacy legislation in North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific make the case for data-centric protections in the cloud. Our research indicates that compliance factors are galvanizing organizations, particularly in Healthcare and Finance, to fortify their data defenses in the cloud.”

Security needs included a combination of technology, legal, financial and political factors at play. In Q1 2015, 64 percent of organizations identify audit/compliance/privacy as a top challenge, 32 percent name unprotected data in the cloud as a primary concern, 2 percent cited malware protection for documents and 2 percent cited lack of enough secure cloud file sharing solutions. These challenges drove the following cloud data protection trends.

Key findings of a recent CipherCloud study:

  • Across geographies, data encryption (81 percent) led tokenization (19 percent) at enterprises with a cloud security deployment. Latin America topped all regions with 100 percent of protection efforts centered on encryption while North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific deployed encryption by 85 percent, 78 percent and 50 percent margins.
  • Of the 12 vertical industries profiled, Healthcare (38 percent) topped Finance (25 percent) as the leading sector adopting cloud data protection. Together, they accounted for 63 percent of all organizations with a data security mitigation strategy.
  • Healthcare and Finance respectively protected 100 percent of all electronic protected health information (ePHI) and personally identifiable information (PII). These industries face strict data privacy requirements from government and sector specific guidelines.
  • Of the top four sectors, only Government (9 percent) favored the use of tokenization over encryption. The reverse was the case for Finance, Healthcare and Telecommunications, which cited the need for function preservation and the ability to search, sort and filter their data. This was particularly the case for Telecommunications companies, which all use encryption as part of their data protection strategy.
  • Manufacturing, Media, Chemicals, Consulting, Hospitality, Legal, Venture Capital and Tech accounted for the remaining 12 percent of industries with a data protection strategy. These industries are guided by still emerging protection requirements, which so far have resulted in the implementation of highly customized data protection solutions.
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