Overall, 61 percent of respondents said that the security of data residing on the cloud is an executive or board-level concern.
Overall, 61 percent of respondents said that the security of data residing on the cloud is an executive or board-level concern.

The security of data in the cloud is a top executive-level concern, according to the “Cloud Adoption, Practices and Priorities Survey Report,” which was released by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) on Friday.

More than 200 individuals in 17 different countries were surveyed – most of whom are in the Americas and work in IT, IT security, and compliance and audit roles. The majority of respondents work for organizations – many with between one and 5,000 employees – in the high tech, financial services, telecommunications, entertainment, government, healthcare and manufacturing industries.

Overall, 61 percent of respondents said that the security of data residing on the cloud is an executive or board-level concern, according to the report. In the Asia-Pacific region, 82 percent of respondents said it is a concern, compared to 54 percent in the Americas.

“The big takeaway is that cybersecurity has moved beyond the IT department to the executive team and board of directors,” Cameron Coles, senior manager at Skyhigh and coauthor of the report, told SCMagazine.com in a Monday email correspondence.

It shows too – the report indicates that cloud security is the top IT project for organizations in 2014, with nearly 75 percent of respondents saying it was important or very important. 74 percent said intrusion prevention systems were important or very important, and 67 percent said the same of firewalls and proxies.

When asked what best describes their company's attitude toward cloud services, 33 percent of overall respondents said “full steam ahead,” whereas 41 percent said “moving with caution,” 15 percent said they are in the “early stages of investigation,” and 11 percent said it is “not a priority.”

“One of the most surprising findings is that companies that are best positioned to adopt the cloud securely – because they have more mature governance programs – paradoxically are slower to adopt the cloud,” Coles said.