Topping the list of worries were unauthorized access (63 percent), hijacking of accounts (61 percent) and malicious insiders (43 percent).
Misuse of employee credentials and improper access controls tops the list of concern over public cloud security, according to a survey of more than 1,000 IT and IT security practitioners by data security specialist Bitglass.
Even with the major breaches of the last year, dominant security concerns involve misuse of employee credentials and improper access control, not malware and hacking.
Topping the list are unauthorized access (63 percent), hijacking of accounts (61 percent) and malicious insiders (43 percent).
Despite significant investments in security by software as a service (SaaS) providers, 36 percent of respondents believe that even major cloud applications such as Salesforce and Office 365 are less secure than on-premises applications, inhibiting many enterprises from more widespread adoption of cloud computing.

“Organizations need to understand that data protection in the public cloud is a shared responsibility between app vendors and the enterprise,” Rich Campagna, vice president of products with Bitglass, told eWEEK. “Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs), such as Bitglass, fill the security gaps that app vendors don’t cover.”

Despite this fact, 38 percent of enterprises store intellectual property and 31 percent store customer data in the cloud, the survey indicated.
In the battle of email titans, Microsoft focus on enterprise class features appears to be paying off, as Office 365 has surged ahead of Google in the enterprise and is dominating future enterprise deployment plans (29 percent) versus Google Apps (13 percent).
In the past year alone, the percentage of companies using Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based email and productivity suites increased from 23 percent to 42 percent.

The survey also indicated the number-one method for closing the cloud-security gap is the ability to set and enforce consistent security policies across cloud apps, while encryption and access control are the most effective data protection technologies.
“Organizations must allow employees to use the devices and applications of their choosing, while building controls on top of cloud applications that limit access to sensitive data, prohibit suspicious activity, and protect data anywhere, even after it has been downloaded to personal mobile devices,” Campagna said.
Email and sales and marketing data top the list of corporate information stored in the cloud, followed by intellectual property with 38 percent and customer data with 31 percent.
“Cloud adoption will continue at a rapid pace as the survey data shows that cloud is delivering on its promises of productivity, availability, and cost savings,” Campagna said. “Vendors are now building solutions to address security and compliance concerns – visibility and data security, and Bitglass is helping lead that charge by reinventing the way data is secured in the cloud.”

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