Organizations are struggling to protect their data amidst a growing number of security breaches, according to a new survey by consulting firm KPMG LLP and enterprise software provider Oracle Corp.

The companies surveyed 450 global IT professionals and found that 90 percent of information security professionals classify more than half of their cloud data as sensitive. Although a large majority of the organizations (97 percent) have defined cloud-approval policies, 82 percent said they are concerned about employees following these policies.

Tony Buffomante, U.S. leader of KPMG’s Cyber Security Services
Tony Buffomante, U.S. leader of KPMG’s Cyber Security Services

“The pace of innovation and change in business strategies today necessitate flexible, cost-effective, cloud-based solutions,” said Tony Buffomante, U.S. leader of KPMG LLP’s Cyber Security Services. “As many organizations migrate to cloud services, it is critical that their business and security objectives align, and that they establish rigorous controls of their own, versus solely relying on the cyber security measures provided by the cloud vendor.”

See Also Security pros complain the cloud obscures compliance issues

For enterprises storing sensitive data in the cloud, an enhanced security strategy is key to monitoring and protecting that data, the report noted. In fact, 40 percent of respondents said detecting and responding to cloud security incidents is now their top cyber security challenge.

As part of efforts to address this challenge, 40 percent of the organizations have hired dedicated cloud security architects, while 84 percent are committed to using more automation to effectively defend against sophisticated attackers.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.