50% of workers still don’t trust the cloud with sensitive information

Half of UK workers say they wouldn’t store sensitive personal and commercial information in the cloud because of their concerns over security, according to a new report.

Cloud security remains by far the biggest concern for businesses according to the Risky business – analysing the state of UK business processes survey commissioned by automated accounts payable and document management software specialist, Invu.

Data back-up and the recovery of lost data was the second biggest concern, cited by 37% of workers.

This was followed by the risk of corruption of data stored on the cloud (31%), fear over control of access to stored data (29%), location of the data (24%) and inappropriate or erroneous data sharing (23%).

Maybe not surprisingly it is older members of the workforce who are more suspicious and concerned about the security of cloud systems.

While only a third of workers under the age of 25 have concerns about cloud security, 54% of workers between 35 and 64 said security is their biggest concern.

This rises to 61% for workers over 65.

Even third-party cloud service providers are struggling to convince businesses on the issue of security.

Previous research conducted by IS Decisions found that 63% of SMEs thought cloud providers should do more to protect data.

Concerns about cloud security range from whether a data breach will be detected, ongoing data theft from employees who are leaving or have left the company and the difficulty of managing hybrid storage environments.

Ironically, while many employees stated concerns over data location as the main reason for not using cloud services, 73% of respondents in Invu’s report said their company still relied on paper documents, stored in off-site storage facilities.

Despite concerns amongst UK workers about cloud systems, that isn’t stopping businesses investing in the technology at record levels.

A CIO 100 survey conducted in 2019 found that 91% of CIOs at both large and medium-sized companies expected to increase investment in the cloud in the coming years.

Only investment in data and analytics technology is expected to outpace cloud investment in the next year, according to the survey.

Ian Smith, general manager and finance director at Invu, said: “Fear uncertainty and doubt about the security of the cloud has been fuelled by the daily flow of data breaches reported in the media.

“The cloud contains the good, the bad and the ugly, just like in any other sphere of life. The good providers of cloud services can demonstrate their security credentials and build trust. However overall trust in the cloud as a network is being diluted by the poor performance of the bad and the ugly.

“This survey exposes a guilty secret of many organisations: the physical offsite storage of confidential and sensitive data in paper form. The security requirements here are not under as much media scrutiny as the cloud or indeed company networks. However, out of sight is not entirely out of mind as the recent ICO fine of London pharmacy Doorstep Dispensaree Ltd illustrates.

“The power of the cloud to process and store data comes with some risk. With up to 97% of security incidents being attributed to human error, fear grows with the knowledge that one poorly chosen mouse click can have painful consequences. Given the power of the cloud, isn’t it time that software design caught up and addressed these human frailties?”