IT Professionals Cloud Security Concerns in 2014

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Recently, PerspecSys announced the results of a survey conducted at the 2014 RSA Conference concerning the attitudes and policies of organizations towards cloud-based security. 130 security professionals were questioned on the show floor of the RSA Conference, PerspecSys found that “an overwhelming 74 percent believe security for cloud-based data in 2014 will be a bigger concern than securing data on-premise. In fact, 66 percent of security pros still view the cloud as more difficult to secure than on-premise options.”

The survey found the following opinions concerning cloud security:
66% felt that cloud-based data is much more difficult to secure than on the premises
18% felt that securing data on the cloud is no different than securing data on the premises
16% felt that cloud-based data is less difficult to secure than on the premises

When asked if their organization has security protocols in place for cloud applications:
69% answered yes
31% answered no

The survey asked if their organizations allow employees to access corporate cloud environments from their personal mobile devices:
54% said yes, we have a policy to follow
28% said no, but employees do it anyway
17% said no, we are not allowed or unable to access corporate cloud environments

When asked does your organization use encryption or tokenization technologies to secure sensitive information in the cloud:
36% use encryption
34% don’t use encryption or tokenization
24% use encryption and tokenization
6% use tokenization

The survey also questioned if revelations regarding the government’s access to cloud data change their willingness to employ cloud services:
44% said that it had no effect
28% said they are less likely to use the cloud
25% said they are more likely to use the cloud
4% said regardless, they will never use the cloud

The survey demonstrates that most companies need to be more proactive with cloud security policies.

Although consumers are definitely shifting towards cloud applications, the survey results revealed that many organizations still need to take the proper steps to secure their cloud-based data.

PerspecSys has concluded that:

1. Almost 31 percent of respondents do not allow employees to access cloud applications such as Salesforce and DropBox from their mobile devices, but indicate employees do it anyway.
2. 34 percent of organizations do not encrypt or use tokenization in the cloud.
3. 31 percent of organizations do not have any significant security protocols in place for employees using cloud applications.

David Canellos, the CEO of PerspecSys reports that “through the poll data, as well as the results of hundreds of conversations we had at our exhibition booth, we were surprised to see how few companies are putting protocols in place for employees using cloud apps, as they are nearly ubiquitous as productivity enhancers and can hold important data that an organization has a vested interest in protecting. The data reinforces that simply blocking access isn’t an option, it’s time to be proactive and put long trusted security tools such as encryption and tokenization in place to make sure that no matter where your data is, it is protected.”

Stephen Kleynhans of Gartner’s, stated in “How the Personal Cloud Impacts IT Organizations” published on February 6, 2014 that “enterprises must establish policies to manage the use of consumer-grade personal cloud tools, ensuring that appropriate information security and compliance controls aren’t being overlooked. IT organizations must also actively survey the user base to understand the motivation behind the tools’ use and ensure that advantageous functionality hasn’t been missed as part of official IT-supported enterprise user environments. IT organizations need to look for places where consumers are using personal cloud services and related apps, and understand the motivations, realizing there may be significant business value that has been missed by IT.” PerspecSys found that although NSA was a major discussion subject at the 2014 RSA Conference, almost half of those surveyed did not feel the recent headlines and media attention regarding government had any effect on their use of the cloud.