Report: 83% of orgs leave most sensitive data unencrypted on the cloud

​​According to the 2021 Thales Cloud Security Study, despite increasing cyberattacks targeting data in the cloud, 83% of U.S. businesses still fail to encrypt half of the sensitive data they store in the cloud. This is especially alarming as 24% of organizations report that the majority of their workloads and data now reside in the cloud, making them a prime target for threat actors.

Encryption is not widespread in the cloud. 83% are encrypting less than half of sensitive data in multicloud environments. For data encrypted in cloud: 35% are using their own encryption. 55% are using the cloud provider's encryption.

Encryption is not widespread in the cloud. 83% are encrypting less than half of sensitive data in multicloud environments. For data encrypted in cloud: 35% are using their own encryption. 55% are using the cloud provider's encryption.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated what has been a long-term broad adoption of cloud environments, including multicloud and hybrid deployments. While there are clear benefits of moving to the cloud, this migration also comes with significant new security challenges for organizations. In terms of high-level guidance, each organization has its own set of objectives, preferences, and constraints, but some key themes have emerged.

There’s a high likelihood that security teams at all organizations — particularly larger ones — will need to account for supporting multicloud use cases. This will require balancing security features from the cloud provider — or multiple cloud providers — with how to deliver and centrally manage the same security outcomes across multiple providers and organizational environments.

There’s also a gap between practitioners and senior management in multiple areas, which, if left unaddressed, may result in friction amid the effort to secure cloud adoption. For most organizations, effective security requires alignment both at the operational level and within senior leadership conversations.

Furthermore, as data privacy and sovereignty regulations grow across the globe, it will be paramount for end-user organizations to have a clear understanding of how they remain responsible for data security and how they must make clear decisions about who is in control of and who can access their sensitive data.

The 2021 Thales Cloud Security Study is based on data from a global survey of more than 2,600 IT and security professionals (including 507 in the U.S.). The study delves into cloud security research findings and trends that readers can align with their own practices as they consider their cloud migration and implementation efforts.

Read the full report by Thales.

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