Cloud storage on the rise, despite lack of encryption planning

A new study has revealed that over 80 per cent of organisations are planning to store sensitive data in the cloud by 2018.

The 2016 Global Encryption Trends Study has highlighted how adoption of cloud-based solutions is set to take off, despite only a third have already set out an encryption plan which can be described as consistently applied across the entirety of the enterprise.

The report does however suggest that the use of encryption is continuing to grow in response to cyber-attacks, privacy compliance regulations and consumer concerns.

Based on independent research by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Thales and Vormetric Data Security, the report revealed that:

  • More than half of respondents (56 per cent) are transferring sensitive or confidential data to the cloud – and this will rise to a total of 84 per cent in the next two years
  • Support for both cloud and on-premise deployment was rated the most important consideration when deploying encryption solutions
  • Employee and HR data is the most commonly encrypted data – higher even than payment data, intellectual property or financial records – indicating a higher sensitivity to protecting personal information
  • The number one perceived threat to data exposure is employee mistakes, followed by system or application malfunction rather than external attack or malicious insiders


No plans

Currently, 44 per cent of firms encrypt data stored in the cloud, but 39 per cent say they have no plans render this data unreadable, despite some high-profile data breaches over the past few months. The report actually suggests that 52 per cent of respondents believe the most salient threat to sensitive or confidential data to be employee mistakes.

Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute, said: “Mega breaches and cyber attacks have increased companies’ urgency to improve their security posture, and encryption usage continues to be a clear indicator of a strong security posture.

“The findings of this year’s study demonstrate the importance of both encryption and key management across a wide range of core enterprise applications – from networking, databases and application level encryption to PKI, payments, public and private cloud computing and more.”

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