Over 50% of all respondents say their organisation currently transfers sensitive data to the cloud
An increasing number of organisations in 2012 were transferring sensitive or confidential data to the cloud notwithstanding concerns over data protection, a study revealed.
The study, entitled ‘Encryption in the Cloud’, was commissioned by Thales, a provider of data protection solutions, and conducted by the Ponemon Institute.
Over 50% of all respondents say their organisation currently transfers sensitive or confidential data to the cloud, which is about an increase of 10%, compared to the study of 2011.
Conspicuous increase in confidence was witnessed among 56% of the respondents in the cloud providers’ ability to protect the sensitive and confidential data handed over to them in 2012, up from 41% in 2011.
But about slightly more than 50% of respondents say they are unaware of what their cloud provider actually does to protect their data, as against only 30% in the know.
In 2011, 62% of respondents said they were not aware of the measures taken by their cloud provider to protect their data.
On a global basis, the use of encryption to protect data before it goes to the cloud is 33% higher than the use of encryption within the cloud itself, which does not include network level encryption tools such as SSL.
More than 4,000 organisations in seven countries were surveyed regarding the perceptions and current practices on threats and protection issues relating to sensitive or confidential data in the cloud.
How that data is protected and where data encryption is applied inside and outside the cloud was also explained in the study.
Ponemon Institute chairman and founder Larry Ponemon said, "Staying in control of sensitive or confidential data is paramount for most organisations today and yet our survey shows they are transferring ever more of their most valuable data assets to the cloud.
"Respondents generally feel better informed, more confident in their cloud service providers and more positive about the impact on their security posture compared with last year."
Thales e-Security strategy vice president Richard Moulds said, "Encryption is the most widely proven and accepted method to secure sensitive data both within the enterprise and the cloud, but it’s no silver bullet. Decisions still need to be taken over where encryption is performed and critically, who controls the keys.
"The ability to safely migrate sensitive applications to the cloud has the potential to deliver even more economic benefit than the more routine applications that have already taken that step."