Survey: Most IT Pros Don’t Know Where Sensitive Company Data Resides

Survey Results from RSA Conference Indicate Securing the Cloud Continues to be a Work in Progress

May 12, 2015

4 Min Read


McLean, VA – May 11, 2015 – Perhaps in a begrudging acknowledgment of the massive data breaches victimizing the likes of Target, Sony and Anthem, combined with the reality of aggressive pushes by organizations to put more of their data in the hands of outside service providers like cloud systems, new survey findings from cloud data protection leader Perspecsys show that the majority of IT security professionals don’t have full visibility into where all their organization’s sensitive data resides.

Click to Tweet: According to new @Perspecsys survey from #RSAC, 57% of IT pros don't know where all their orgs sensitive data lives:

“57 percent of IT security pros we surveyed say they struggle to see a complete picture of where their organization’s sensitive data is located,” says Gerry Grealish, CMO, Perspecsys. “Challenges with tracking where sensitive and regulated data is flowing, and the inability to control that flow in outsourced environments such as SaaS cloud applications, where it can move freely between data centers and cloud provider’s partner’s systems, is a key challenge for enterprises in regulated sectors. Cloud trust issues reported by the respondents make it clear organizations are not aggressively using cloud systems because of privacy and security concerns. This is limiting the true transformational benefits that the cloud could bring.”

More than 125 attendees at RSA Conference 2015 took the survey, which was conducted via in-person interviews by Perspecsys. The results interestingly reveal a split decision when it comes to trust in Cloud Service Providers (CSPs): 52 percent of respondents say they trust their CSP to take care of protecting and controlling their enterprise data and the other half (48 percent) do not.

“Relying on a CSP for data compliance and protection is not enough, but on the flip side, writing off cloud services because of security skepticism is unnecessarily limiting and harms the business,” continues Grealish. “Enterprises need to consider encrypting or tokenizing any sensitive data before it goes to the cloud, so they retain full control of their information while it is in-transit to the cloud, while it is stored at-rest in the cloud and while it is in-use being processed in the cloud. An RSA Conference 2015 session hosted by Gartner highlighted how Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) technologies could be used to give enterprises this level of data control.”

IDC forecasts that public IT cloud services will account for more than half of global software, server, and storage spending growth by 2018. The Perspecsys survey findings align with this projection, with 67 percent of respondents preferring to store the majority of enterprise data in the cloud – that is – if data privacy and compliance regulations could be addressed. Interestingly, the current perception remains that private cloud is more secure than its public cloud cousins. For example:
· About half of respondents say existing or impending data privacy regulations impact up to 50 percent of their cloud strategy
· The majority of respondents still house less than a quarter of their data in public cloud environments
· About a third claim no public cloud use at any level (IaaS, PaaS or SaaS), as far as they know

“Regulatory compliance and security concerns are the primary inhibitors to cloud adoption, according to our survey,” adds Grealish. “Interestingly, in the wake of the NSA and Snowden controversy sparking a serious privacy debate, about 55 percent of respondents, mostly from locations outside the United States, say their organization’s adoption of public cloud applications has been impacted by the ‘Snowden effect’ while about 45 percent report no impact and the remaining percentage say they’re unsure.”

10 tips for taking back control of cloud data can be found here. For more discussion on the survey findings, please see the Perspecsys blog at To view the infographic, please click here.

About Cloud Data Protection Provider, Perspecsys
Perspecsys’ Cloud Data Protection platform solves key data compliance, privacy and security concerns for enterprises adopting cloud-based applications. The solution puts enterprises in complete control of their cloud data at all times, allowing them to simply address the leading data compliance and security challenges impacting enterprise cloud adoption. By removing the security issues and operational risks associated with placing sensitive data in the cloud, Perspecsys makes the public cloud private. Perspecsys Inc. is a privately held company backed by investors, including Intel Capital, Paladin Capital and Ascent Venture Partners. For more information please visit and follow us on Twitter @Perspecsys.

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