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BT: Confidence in the Cloud Hits Rock Bottom

Data security and trust in cloud-based services has hit an all-time low—even as more and more businesses are moving to virtual applications.

A global study from BT has revealed cloud security to be a rapidly growing concern for IT decision-makers within large organizations, with three quarters of them (76%) citing security is their main concern about using cloud-based services. Half of respondents (49%) admit that they are “very or extremely anxious” about the security implications of these services.

This is a substantial increase of 10% from previous research in 2012.

And, for more than half (54%) of IT decision makers, trusting a third party is also a concern. About 41% of respondents have the impression that all cloud services are inherently insecure, and 26% of those surveyed said that they had experienced a data breach incident where their cloud service provider was partly at fault.

Even so, 70% of those surveyed said that they are adopting cloud storage and web applications within their business, driven by their cost-effectiveness, mobility-friendly nature and ease of use.

“The adoption of cloud services has increased rapidly across the globe,” said Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, in a statement. “Organizations are looking to reap the numerous benefits - such as scalability, fast deployment and ubiquitous network access – these services can offer.”

But alarmingly, despite security awareness, 50% say they have adopted mass-market consumer cloud services, rather than those designed specifically for the enterprise. On opting for consumer solutions over cloud offerings tailored to the enterprise, 48% of respondents have the impression that enterprise cloud applications and services are too expensive, and 44% hold the belief that mass-market public cloud applications and services are as effective as using those designed specifically for enterprise users.

“It is an interesting paradox that the survey has exposed – on the one hand, decision-makers are concerned about the security implications of using public cloud services, but on the other, their buying decisions seem to be driven by short-term cost perceptions,” said Hughes. “We invite these decision-makers to also weigh up the reputational cost and impact on their brand of a cloud security breach.”

He added that organizations should undertake a thorough risk analysis before opting for mass-market cloud services.

“Every organization has a different appetite for risk, and these need to be factored into the buying decision equation,” he said. 

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