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Gemalto and Ponemon Institute Study: Big gaps emerge between countries on attitudes towards data protection in the cloud

- Study reveals regional disparities in adoption of cloud security: German businesses almost twice as likely to secure confidential or sensitive information in the cloud (61%) than British (35%), Brazilian (34%) and Japanese (31%) organizations
- Half of global organizations believe that payment information (54%) and customer data (49%) is at risk in the cloud
- Over half (57%) think using the cloud increases compliance risk

Amsterdam
January 16, 2018

Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, can today reveal that while the vast majority of global companies (95%) have adopted cloud services[1], there is a wide gap in the level of security precautions applied by companies in different markets. Organizations admitted that on average, only two-fifths (40%) of the data stored in the cloud is secured with encryption and key management solutions.

The findings – part of a Gemalto commissioned Ponemon Institute 2018 Global Cloud Data Security Study" – found that organizations in the UK (35%), Brazil (34%) and Japan (31%) are less cautious than those in Germany (61%) when sharing sensitive and confidential information stored in the cloud with third parties. The study surveyed more than 3,200 IT and IT security practitioners worldwide to gain a better understanding of the​​ key trends in data governance and security practices for cloud-based services.

Germany's lead in cloud security extends to its application of controls such as encryption and tokenization. The majority (61%) of German organizations revealed they secure sensitive or confidential information while being stored in the cloud environment, ahead of the US (51%) and Japan (50%). The level or security applied increases further still when data is sent and received by the business, rising to 67% for Germany, with Japan (62%) and India (61%) the next highest.

Crucially, however, over three quarters (77%) of organizations across the globe recognize the importance of having the ability to implement cryptologic solutions, such as encryption. This is only set to increase, with nine in 10 (91%) believing this ability will become more important over the next two years – an increase from 86% last year.

Managing privacy and regulation in the cloud

Despite the growing adoption of cloud computing and the benefits that it brings, it seems that global organizations are still wary. Worryingly, half report that payment information (54%) and customer data (49%) are at risk when stored in the cloud. Over half (57%) of global organizations also believe that using the cloud makes them more likely to fall foul of privacy and data protection regulations, slightly down from 62% in 2016.

Due to this perceived risk, almost all (88%) believe that the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will require changes in cloud governance, with two in five (37%) stating it would require significant changes. As well as difficulty in meeting regulatory requirements, three-quarters of global respondents (75%) also reported that it is more complex to manage privacy and data protection regulations in a cloud environment than on premise networks, with France (97%) and the US (87%) finding this the most complex, just ahead of India (83%).

Head in the clouds

Despite the prevalence of cloud usage, the study found that there is a gap in awareness within businesses about the services being used. Only a quarter (25%) of IT and IT security practitioners revealed they are very confident they know all the cloud services their business is using, with a third (31%) confident they know.

Looking more closely, shadow IT may be continuing to cause challenges. Over half of Australian (61%), Brazilian (59%) and British (56%) organizations are not confident they know all the cloud computing apps, platform or infrastructure services their organization is using. Confidence is higher elsewhere, with only around a quarter in Germany (27%), Japan (27%) and France (25%) not confident.

Fortunately, the vast majority (81%) believe that having the ability to use strong authentication methods to access data and applications in the cloud is essential or very important. Businesses in Australia are the keenest to see authentications put in place, with 92% agreeing it would help ensure only authorised people could access certain data and applications in the cloud, ahead of India (85%) and Japan (84%).

"While it's good to see some countries like Germany taking the issue of cloud security seriously, there is a worrying attitude emerging elsewhere," said Jason Hart, CTO, Data Protection at Gemalto. "This may be down to nearly half believing the cloud makes it more difficult to protect data, when the opposite is true.

"The benefit of the cloud is its convenience, scalability and cost control in offering options to businesses that they would not be able to access or afford on their own, particularly when it comes to security. However, while securing data is easier, there should never be an assumption that cloud adoption means information is automatically secure. Just look at the recent Accenture and Uber breaches as examples of data in the cloud that has been left exposed. No matter where data is, the appropriate controls like encryption and tokenization need to be placed at the source of the data. Once these are in place, any issues of compliance should be resolved."

Research methodology

This research was conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Gemalto with 3,285 IT and IT security practitioners surveyed across the US (575), UK (405), Australia (244), Germany (492), France (293), Japan (424), India (497) and Brazil (355).

Resources



[1] https://www.rightscale.com/lp/2017-state-of-the-cloud-report?campaign=70170000000vFyc​

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the global leader in digital security, with 2015 annual revenues of €3.1 billion and customers in over 180 countries. We bring trust to an increasingly connected world.

Our technologies and services enable businesses and governments to authenticate identities and protect data so they stay safe and enable services in personal devices, connected objects, the cloud and in between.

Gemalto’s solutions are at the heart of modern life, from payment to enterprise security and the internet of things. We authenticate people, transactions and objects, encrypt data and create value for software – enabling our clients to deliver secure digital services for billions of individuals and things.

Our 14,000+ employees operate out of 118 offices, 45 personalization and data centers, and 27 research and software development centers located in 49 countries.

For more information visit www.gemalto.com, or follow @gemalto on Twitter.

 

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