Infosec pros believe data isn’t secure in the cloud, despite desire for mass adoption

65 percent of infosecurity professionals would like to store object data in the cloud, but 47 percent either don’t believe or are not sure if data in the cloud is as secure as in their own data center, according to a study by Ponemon Institute.

infosec pros believe data isn't secure in the cloud

The study looks at perceptions around on-premise and cloud-based data storage technologies across 483 IT and IT security professionals familiar with the benefits of object storage technology. The primary reasons respondents identified for moving data into a cloud-based object storage environment are to reduce storage costs, to avoid new datacenter investments and to achieve better resiliency or disaster recovery. Only 12 percent of respondents said increasing security would be their primary reason.

“There is a prominent security gap delaying the mass migration of data to the cloud,” said Jim Varner, president and CEO of SecurityFirst. “We see an overwhelming desire among organizations to move to the cloud and leverage the cost/value of object storage. However, they often take an outsourced approach to cloud security instead of a unified, comprehensive approach, including integration with their existing security infrastructure and careful control of security keys. Object data has the same security and privacy requirements as any other data and a structured, controlled approach needs to be taken seriously.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Though 79 percent of respondents are not currently using object storage, 38 percent are piloting or assessing object storage which indicates that migration of data to the cloud is continuing
  • A significant percentage are moving personal data into object storage
  • At 54 percent, over half of respondents’ primary reason for moving to the cloud is to reduce costs
  • 51 percent of respondents prefer cloud data to be distributed across multiple suppliers with 28 percent for security purposes and 23 percent to avoid vendor lock-in. Another 17 percent would accept it if the operation was transparent.

“While IT professionals across many verticals are increasingly putting personal data into object storage, they are aware that they are risking the security of the data, in an environment in which regulatory oversight of data risk is increasing” said Dr. Larry Pomemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “These survey results confirm InfoSecurity Professionals’ concerns about object storage, migration to the cloud, and resulting security risks”.

In addition to overall findings, the Ponemon Market Study of data storage technologies looked at results by industry including Financial Services, Health Care and Pharma, Services, Public Sector, Industrial and Retail. Out of the various industries surveyed, the Financial Services sector findings were the most notable:

  • 64 percent of respondents in the financial services sector are more likely to store customer profile data in object storage compared to 55 percent across all industries
  • 35 percent of financial services respondents have all object storage in a cloud environment, compared to 29 percent for all industries
  • 27 percent of financial services respondents are already using object storage, while only 21 percent of respondents are across all industries.

These findings suggest a more aggressive adoption of new technology, specifically object storage in a cloud environment, in the financial services sector.

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