Study Shows Security Gap as Businesses Embrace Cloud Storage

Results from a new Gemalto-commissioned study help to build the case that cloud-based data storage is outpacing businesses’ security capabilities.

Study Shows Security Gap as Businesses Embrace Cloud StorageConducted by the Ponemon Institute, the study is based on surveys of 3,285 IT and IT security professionals across the US, India, Germany, Japan, the UK, Brazil, France, and Australia. Among its key findings: While 95 percent of global companies are using cloud services, only 40 percent of cloud-hosted data is secured with encryption and key management; and 44 percent of the IT professionals surveyed were not confident that they knew all the cloud services that their organizations were using.

At the same time, awareness about the importance of security is pretty high. Seventy-seven percent of the organizations surveyed “recognize the importance of having the ability to implement cryptologic solutions, such as encryption,” according to Gemalto’s report; and 91 percent believe “this ability will become more important over the next two years”. Eighty-one percent said that “having the ability to use strong authentication methods to access data and applications in the cloud is essential or very important.”

The disparities between what security measures are being taken for cloud data today, versus perceptions about the importance of strong security, seem to point to just how quickly cloud storage has emerged as an appealing means of storing information – and how hard it is for security departments and professionals to keep pace. Speaking at his recent retirement event, the head of a Department of Defense IT operations agency said that while the military is looking at cloud options for its own data, “commercial cloud is not that secure,” adding that it could be used for assets with lower security requirements.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of technologically innovative security solutions emerging for cloud security, including things like behavioral biometrics and, of course, biometric authentication. Cloud storage is only growing more popular, but as businesses race ahead in embracing it, at least they’ll have options for keeping data secure.