Research by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) claims to highlight a discrepancy between the way people perceive cloud data security and the reality of experiences.
CIF is a 2009-formed industry body that aims to promote best practice in the cloud industry.
Its new study polled 250 senior IT and business decision-makers to examine attitudes towards security in the cloud.
The organisation claims adoption rates continue to rise despite people perceiving it as a security threat and so this must be countered and resolved by a professional industry with informed users.
The research found that 61% of respondents said the number one issue in the minds of end users still relates to data security.
Data privacy was cited by 54% of participants as their top concerns, while 28% quoted data sovereignty.
Meanwhile, just 2% of organisations surveyed believed they had actually experienced as cloud service-related security breach.
IT decision-makers were also quizzed on where they considered threats to lie and 36% stated data backup and disaster recovery applications posed the highest risk.
Data storage and personnel and payroll were also regarded as high risk, with 30% and 33% respectively saying so.
Besides this, organisations involved with the research were asked about how they responded to Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations.
Nearly half (44%) said they actively changed the way they used the cloud after this, with 9% changing providers entirely.
Of participants who said they did not wish to move specific applications to the cloud, 75% cited security as the main reason.
According to CIF CEO Alex Hilton, the results represent that organisations perceive the cloud to be inherently less secure than on premise IT solutions, but this is far removed from the realities experienced by cloud users.
“Despite the significant growth in adoption and penetration of cloud services, it’s clear from the research that the market remains somewhat confused and uncertain as to the legal, regulatory and security environment surrounding the market,” claimed Hilton.
“This is arguably driven by the continue fear, uncertainty and doubt being peddle in the media following recent developments in European Data Protection and the revelations about PRISM,” he added.