Why there is still a culture of ‘hope’ and ‘fear’ around cloud and big data technologies

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.


Is more sensitive data being kept in the cloud? According to the latest report from Vormetric, in association with analyst house Ovum, 60% of US IT decision makers and 54% of respondents globally say they store sensitive data in the cloud.

Yet cloud environments (47%) are more of a risk to enterprise organisations than databases (37%) and file servers (29%), while cloud and big data concerns remain “genuine” and “deep rooted” according to the study, which surveyed over 800 IT decision makers worldwide.

The numbers revealed worrying findings about why organisations were moving data into the cloud; almost half (46%) of respondents expressed concerns over ‘market pressures’ forcing them to use cloud services. In terms of key changes to increase the use of cloud services, 55% wanted encryption of data with enterprise key control on their premises; 52% wanted encryption of their organisation’s data within the service provider’s infrastructure, and 52% wanted liability terms for a data breach.

The stakes are high if something goes wrong – which is more often than you think. Two in five (40%) organisations experienced a data breach or failed a compliance audit in the last year.

Increasingly, as sister publication Enterprise AppsTech has discovered, it’s the insider threat which is particularly worrying. Nine in 10 (89%) say they are at least ‘somewhat’ vulnerable to insider attacks, while respondents believe the most dangerous insiders in terms of data breaches are privileged users (55%), followed by contractors and service providers (45%) and business partners (43%).

Consequently, data breach protection is now the number one priority among IT, ahead of compliance. For Ovum, this trend can be clearly seen in recent events – the recent Sony, Target, and Vodafone security issues came about even though each company was compliant at the time.

“The cloud and big data survey results demonstrate that there is both hope and fear when it comes to cloud and big data technologies,” said Andrew Kellett, Ovum lead analyst and report author.

“This fear can lead to slow implementation of these platforms, which stymies innovation and growth. But there are steps enterprises can take and changes providers can make that will increase adoption.”

You can take a look at the full report (email required) here.

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