Survey: Risk to organisational data an ongoing cloud security concern

While companies have become more comfortable with the security of third-party cloud service providers, data security--particularly at the end user level--as well as concerns over meeting compliance requirements, remain top-of-mind among cloud adopters. This is the conclusion of a cloud security survey commissioned by NetIQ.

According to the findings, 51 percent of IT executives surveyed believe that the cloud increases data security overall. However, almost 70 percent of respondents indicated that consumer cloud services pose a risk to sensitive data in their organisations and 45 percent are not fully confident that their cloud provider's security processes and programs meet their data security requirements.

Additional findings found a mix of concern and confidence in cloud security:

Forty-five percent do not have full visibility and control of their cloud-based data when users sign up on their own.

Only 46 percent train end users on how they should securely access data in the cloud.

Forty-two percent of organisations are not fully confident that they demonstrate regulatory compliance concerning sensitive information/assets in the cloud.

Fifty-nine percent are very confident in their ability to control and manage access from mobile devices to cloud services.

"These survey findings demonstrate that IT executives are feeling more confident in the execution of their cloud security strategies and programs. However, this confidence may be at odds with the concerns security teams have while addressing an ever-increasing number of threats to corporate information," said Geoff Webb, director, Solution Strategy at NetIQ.

"Data-centric security programs remain the most targeted and effective way to build security programs ready to embrace the complexities inherent in adopting cloud. Identifying sensitive data, applying appropriate layers of protection around that data, and tracking who is accessing it remain the best ways to respond to threats, meet regulatory requirements and minimise organisational risk," he added.

This survey was conducted on behalf of NetIQ by IDG Connect to understand perceptions about cloud security worldwide. Researchers interviewed IT executives at companies with 500 or more employees. Sixty-one percent of respondents occupied director-level or higher roles within their organisation.

The overall number of respondents was split between those from North America (36 percent), EMEA (36 percent) and APAC (28 percent).

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