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Business Executives Look the Other Way When it comes to Data Security in the Cloud, Survey Shows

C-Levels Less Concerned with Security, More Apt to Bend Rules Against Cloud App Usage

September 24, 2013

While most business professionals are worried about the security of cloud-based applications, they are not deterred from using them to store their personal and professional data, and they are not losing sleep over their data and information, according to a recent survey from SafeNet Labs, the creator of SafeMonk.   

When SafeNet Labs, a technology incubator initiative of SafeNet, Inc., asked hundreds of business professionals worldwide if they were worried about the security of the cloud-based applications or data stored in the cloud, 52 percent checked "Yes"; however, sixty-four percent of respondents said they still frequently use cloud-based apps to store their personal and professional data. Ironically, when asked what keeps them up at night regarding their data and information, more than half answered, "Nothing keeps me up; I sleep like a baby."    

Further examination of the survey data shows that the higher a person is on the corporate ladder the more they use file-sharing services like Dropbox, despite company policies against it (33 percent of C-level titles said "yes" versus 18 percent of associates). The majority of respondents, 59 percent, said they "wouldn’t be surprised" if they found out that their boss or executives were using file-sharing apps like Dropbox, despite a policy against doing so. In general, C-level executives (39 percent checked "Yes") are less concerned about security in the cloud than associates (54 percent checked "Yes.")      

"What this survey suggests is that cloud app usage and document storage continue to proliferate, and that organizations should reexamine antiquated attitudes towards usage of these apps across the enterprise," said Tsion Gonen, Chief Strategy Officer, SafeNet, Inc. "It’s clear that top-level executives understand the advantages of cloud app usage, and should enable their companies to leverage these advantages by adopting contemporary security tools and practices."      

Location also factors into respondents’ attitudes about data security in the cloud. For example, the usage of cloud-based apps is far greater in EMEA than in the U.S. or APAC; so too are the levels of concern about data security and corporate policies against using cloud apps. However, EMEA respondents are more likely to ignore those very same policies. Who they are concerned about also varies—when it comes to their data privacy, respondents in the U.S. and EMEA are most concerned with the government, while APAC is most concerned with Google. Additionally, APAC respondents are the group most kept up at night when it comes to their data and information, worrying that it will be maliciously exploited.     

Overall, 52 percent of respondents are most concerned with someone hacking into their banking and financial apps. The systems most frequently used by respondents for file storage are Dropbox (39 percent) and desk drawers (25 percent); and email continues to be the dominant means for sharing files (68 percent), according to the data.     

SafeNet Labs conducted this survey in August 2013. For a complete copy of the survey data set, contact Trisha Paine at SafeNet Labs is the creator of SafeMonk, the world’s only tap-proof encryption solution designed specifically for users of the file-sharing service Dropbox.     

About SafeMonk

Founded in 2012 by data protection leader, SafeNet, Inc., SafeNet Labs is a technology incubator dedicated to developing next-generation solutions to some of the biggest problems facing information security. SafeNet Labs created SafeMonk to offer tap-proof security with simplicity that doesn’t break Dropbox.

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.

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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.

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