Press release: Business trust in data security in the cloud at an all-time low

DC14-439 (25 September 2014)

Risk of security breaches as 69 percent of large US organizations opt for mass market ‘consumer’ cloud services

Data security and trust in cloud-based services are a rapidly growing concern for IT decision makers within large organizations, according to a new global study from BT.

While 79 percent of those surveyed in the US (70 percent globally) are adopting cloud storage and web applications within their business, their confidence around cloud security is at an all-time low.

Yet despite this, 69 percent in the US (50 percent globally) say they have adopted mass market ‘consumer’ services, rather than those designed specifically for the enterprise.

The new study explores the attitudes to, and use of, cloud-based services of IT decision makers from enterprise organizations in eleven countries and regions around the world

It reveals that more than three quarters of IT decision makers (82 percent in the US; 76 percent globally) say security is their main concern about using cloud-based services. Approximately half of respondents (52 percent in the US; 49 percent globally) admit that they are ‘very or extremely anxious’ about the security implications of these services. This is a substantial increase of 10 percent globally from previous research in 2012.

On opting for consumer solutions over cloud offerings tailored to the enterprise, 53 percent of US respondents (48 percent globally) have the impression that enterprise cloud applications and services are too expensive and 58 percent (44 percent globally) hold the belief that mass market public cloud applications and services are as effective as using those designed specifically for enterprise users.

For more than half (54 percent in US and globally) of IT decision makers, trusting a third party is also a concern. In the US, 40 percent (41 percent globally) of respondents have the impression that all cloud services are inherently insecure and 22 percent (26 percent globally) of those surveyed said that they had experienced a data breach incident where their cloud service provider was the party at fault.

Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, said: “The adoption of cloud services has increased rapidly across the globe. Organizations are looking to reap the numerous benefits - such as scalability, fast deployment and ubiquitous network access – these services can offer. It is an interesting paradox that the survey has exposed – on the one hand decision makers are concerned about the security implications of using public cloud services but on the other, their buying decisions seem to be driven by short term cost perceptions. We invite these decision makers to also weigh up the reputational cost and impact on their brand of a cloud security breach. Enterprise cloud applications and services are designed to help businesses realize the possibilities in the cloud while substantially decreasing risk. For example, our own BT Cloud Compute portfolio can provide security around cloud storage, while our BT Assure portfolio brings powerful cloud based security and risk management to the network. This can end up providing very substantial savings.

“I would suggest organizations undertake a thorough risk analysis before opting for mass market cloud services. Every organization has a different appetite for risk and these needs to be factored into the decision buying equation. Our security specialists can help them make the right assessment for the optimal solution to limit their risks, and deliver a great performance, whatever their needs may be.”

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services.BT consists principally of five lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2014, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,287m with reported profit before taxation of £2,312m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit

BT Security

BT Security is building on 70 years’ experience of helping organisations around the globe and across all sectors get ahead of the threat curve and reduce the uncertainty and complexity of security. We provide an end-to-end capability to help organisations enjoy higher levels of security at a time when security budgets are not keeping pace with the threat landscape.

The sophistication of our security operations means that we think about the assets, the people, and the processes, and combine these with both network and security intelligence to help our customers stay ahead of the security risks. BT Security protects both BT and its customers. These customers are advised by a global team of 1,300 security practitioners, 600 global security specialists and a professional services team of approximately 4,000. The BT Security Assure portfolio covers:

  • Assure Managed Firewall
  • Assure Web Security
  • Assure Intrusion Prevention
  • Assure Message Scan
  • Assure Denial of Service Mitigation
  • Assure Cyber
  • Assure Managed Cloud
  • Assure Threat Monitoring
  • Assure Vulnerability Scanning

To find out more about BT Security, visit

Notes to editors:

BT Cloud Compute is available across 20 countries in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific. More information on BT Cloud Compute.

The BT Assure portfolio of security services is available globally and supported by highly qualified professional services specialists. More information on Security and risk management.

About the research

The research was completed by Vanson Bourne for BT in July 2014. Interviews were carried out with 640 IT decision makers in medium to large sized organisations (1000+ employees) across eleven countries and regions – UK, France, Germany, US, Spain, Brazil, Middle East, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and Australia – and in a range of sectors including finance, retail and public sector.

For further information:

Lucy Cowcill
Head of Communications

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