Netskope exposes cloud data fears

Customer fears over the ability of cloud providers to provide robust data protection continue to be an issue according to findings from Netskope research

No matter how hard the cloud industry does its best to reassure customers over data security issues users continue to have doubts that those hosting their sensitive information are going to be able to protect it.

Numerous pieces of research over the past couple of years have highlighted the ongoing worries that customers have about cloud security and the findings continue to paint the same picture.

The latest set of numbers that will make some interesting reading for the cloud community come from Netskope and the Ponemon Institute that found almost three quarters of businesses did not trust hosted vendors to follow data protection laws.

The study commissioned by the cloud enablement player Netskope, which has just opened its doors in the UK run across EMEA by Eduard Meelhuysen, found that half the respondents thought a data breach was more likely in the cloud.

Not only did users perceive a threat to be more likely and potentially more costly if data leaked in the cloud, but 84% thought their cloud provider would be slow in informing them of any problems.

Those that expressed the most doubts were the very people that resellers have to pitch to with IT professionals sharing doubts over the ability of cloud vendors to protect confidential information or secure business critical applications.

“This study proves that some companies are struggling with shadow IT and need much more visibility into what data and apps are being accessed in the cloud and guidance on how they should analyse vendors,” said Sanjay Beri, CEO and co-founder of Netskope.

“We all know that cloud can offer productivity gains, but these shouldn’t come at the expense of security. Our respondents agreed that cloud has the potential to be more secure than on-premises IT, but this is only true if they have policy enforcement capabilities coupled with deep contextual visibility into cloud transactions — especially those involving sensitive data," he added.

Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the insitute that bears his name, said that data protection laws were getting a lot of attention in Europe at the moment.

“I suspect that the low vote of confidence in cloud vendors we’re seeing is due to this heightened scrutiny and a ‘fear of the unknown.’ Overcoming this takes a better understanding of a vendor’s security precautions and how people are using the cloud in the first place. Businesses that demand more vendor transparency and seek efficient methods for evaluating apps and directing usage will find it easier to embrace the cloud and move past this period of uncertainty," he said.

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