Research: Data breach fears blight enterprise cloud adoption

Cloud connected computers

Sixty eight per cent of UK business decision makers do not know how much a data breach would cost their company, despite this being their greatest fear when moving to the cloud, new research suggests.

The survey of over 300 UK executives was carried out in November 2012 on behalf of online security company CipherCloud.

The organisation develops tokenisation and encryption software to protect data outside firewalls that are both in transit and at rest.

The risk of breaches (44 per cent) and loss of control over data (33 per cent) were the two biggest concerns respondents had about their organisations' sensitive information being in the cloud.

However, compliance issues - such as data residing under foreign jurisdiction control (23 per cent) and the EU Data Protection Act (17 per cent) - were also leading concerns.

Despite this, a survey of 300 IT decision makers in the same companies showed there was a lack of awareness of guidance and recommendations on cloud computing from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Forty one per cent of respondents said they were not aware of the guidance at all, while only 27 per cent claimed to be both aware and fully compliant.

This, CipherCloud claims, shows a "worrying lack of awareness" amongst the community of its obligations, which Richard Olver, regional director of EMEA at CipherCloud described as "pretty striking".

"The fact that the IT professionals were not aware [of the ICO guidance] indicates that we need to educate the market and that is what we are going to be doing," Olver told IT Pro.

"[Also], from our perspective, our product solves this problem. We enable organisations' IT people to put measures in place to adhere to ICO guidance so that they can adopt more cloud and satisfy that business demand.

"That is what we are about enabling the business to use more cloud and organisations that have put our measures in place overcome that number one barrier...and adoption goes through the roof," Olver added.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialise in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.