Cloud providers must do more to earn the trust of end-users regarding the security of their platforms and services. According to a recent survey, half of organisations fear exposure of their confidential data.

The research found that 50 per cent of organisations are concerned by the threat posed to well-known cloud providers by hackers. A similar number cited the exposure of confidential customer data (48 per cent), while the release of sensitive data to the general public as a result of a major security breach was also a major worry (45 per cent).

The report is based on a poll of 250 senior IT decision-makers across a range of small and medium-sized businesses, enterprises, and public sector organisations.

However, the survey also found that while security remains a significant concern, organisations do understand the importance and potential of cloud services. Only ten per cent of respondents believe that the cloud is not yet a proven technology, while just four percent labelled it mere marketing hype.

The findings point to low levels of confidence in service providers over data handling and storage in the cloud. It is encouraging to see that more than ninety percent of organisations recognise that cloud-based services are a proven approach to technology and more than just a marketing buzzword.

However, the fact that half of organisations still harbour concerns about the security of their data in a cloud environment is a clear sign that more work needs to be done. Cloud service providers need to be completely transparent over where and how they store customers’ data, ideally offering in-country data centres to allay sovereignty concerns.

They also need to take responsibility for overall service availability, including network uptime. Cloud providers that lack their own network will need to work far more closely with network operators so that they can provide a completely integrated service that is secure and reliable.