Cloud distrust high as IT managers fear government snooping

New research published today shows that high levels of distrust still exist among IT professionals when it comes to storing data in the cloud, with fears of government and legal intervention being a key factor in deterring businesses.

Carried out by the Cloud Security Alliance, a survey from Lieberman Software found that 48 per cent of IT and cloud experts were unsure if their data protection policy would pass the security audits or government regulatory checks which hosted cloud environments are subjected to, and would therefore fear falling into legal trouble over their cloud policy.

With 300 IT professionals surveyed - 70 per cent from companies with over 1,000 employees and 50 per cent from firms with over 5,000 employees – the report found that as many as 88 per cent were concerned their organisation’s sensitive data could be lost or hacked in the cloud. As a result, 86 per cent did not trust the cloud for storing more sensitive business data, while 51 per cent didn’t trust it for any of their personal data.

“There are a number of reasons why IT experts might be apprehensive about storing corporate data in the cloud. However, in my opinion, the key issues are around government surveillance, cloud legislation and data security,” said Philip Lieberman, President and CEO of Lieberman Software.

“IT managers fear that they will put their data at risk by moving to a cloud provider as they are unsure they will keep the data properly protected, which could ultimately affect their job and their business.

“The other issue is around legislation in the cloud and the fact that IT managers do not want governments snooping around in their corporate data. If a government or official body wanted to see what data a company was holding in the cloud, the cloud host involved would be legally obliged to provide them with access. This means there is very limited privacy in cloud environments. IT managers know it is much easier to hide data within their own private networks,” Lieberman added.