Today, nearly every IT professional is using cloud service in their operations. Most users employ a hybrid model, mixing public and private clouds to store data within their organization.

A recent statistic released by McAfee questions public cloud security, stating that 25% of businesses who employ a public cloud service have had confidential data compromised.

The statistic was included in McAfee’s annual Cyber Security Report, released ahead of the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco.

While 97% of businesses employ some form of cloud storage, up from 93% in the same study last year, only 69% trust their data in the cloud.

Among confidential information stored in the cloud, customer information is the most common, reported in 61% of organizations. About 40% of companies store internal documentation, payment card information and personal staff data in the cloud, while 30% of users rely on the cloud for intellectual properties, healthcare records, competitive intelligence and network pass card storage.

The Public Cloud, which was reported to have a 25% rate of data theft among survey respondents includes both Software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-Service models (IaaS). The average user who responded as using a public cloud used 31 such services within their organization. Given these numbers, public cloud security is becoming a focal point for IT departments now and in the future.

Why Have Public Clouds Been Vulnerable?

The biggest problem with public cloud storage isn’t necessarily the cloud itself, but those managing it. Over 60% of organizations who are migrating to the cloud admit they are either continuing with, or have slowed their cloud adaptation because of a skills shortage within their organization. When it comes to managing the cloud post-migration, 25% admit a skills shortage in securing their cloud infrastructure.

Along with a lack of skills to manage the cloud, IT managers are running into other problems managing IaaS adaptations. 27% lack visibility into what data is stored in the cloud and what service that data is being stored in, while 28% cite cloud workloads and accounts have been created outside of IT visibility. 19% are unable to monitor workloads and applications for vulnerabilities.

Similar results are seen in SaaS deployments, with 30% citing a lack of visibility into what data is being stored and 25% citing incomplete control over who can access data.

What is the Good News for Public Cloud Security?

Thankfully, it appears the skills shortage in IT is decreasing. Compared to last year, respondents indicating no skills shortage improved from 15% to 24%. More so, the percentage of IT budgets going towards cloud security is set to increase from 27% to 37% over the next 12 months.

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