New York, NY – Faced with an ever-increasing number of high-profile cloud security breaches and data hacks, including the most recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, Americans say they are increasingly concerned with cloud security and ownership of data in the cloud. According to a study just completed by Ipsos MediaCT, 62% of Americans say they’re concerned about who “owns” their data or files stored in the cloud, compared to 53% three years ago.
The study, fielded in November of this year among 1,001 U.S. adult Internet users, builds upon research first conducted in 2011. In it, Ipsos MediaCT set out to measure consumer awareness, interest, concerns, and attitudes towards cloud-based services.
“Understandably, cyber-attacks like the one aimed at Sony Pictures Entertainment instill fear and uncertainty,” says Ben Piper, Vice President with Ipsos MediaCT and author of the study. “However, our research shows that only a small fraction of Americans have actually had their own data hacked.”
While 52% say they view cyber-terrorism as a threat, and think that storing data in the cloud makes it more vulnerable to attack, only 6% report having been victim of an online data breach.
Study respondents were asked to rate their comfort level with various online and offline activities. Storage of personal documents – both in the cloud and on personal hard drives – scored lowest on the comfort scale: 23% indicate that they feel comfortable uploading personal documents to cloud storage sites of companies they have heard before, while 32% feel comfortable storing personal documents on their computer’s hard drive. Females in the study were significantly more comfortable sharing photos on social media sites than were their male counterparts. Notably, participants in the study reported highest comfort levels with online credit card purchases, beating out credit card transactions at ‘brick and mortar’ retailers, with 68% indicating that they feel comfortable making a purchase with a credit card at an online retailer where they have done business before.
“A clear finding from the study is that Americans are uneasy with multiple aspects of cloud security,” adds Piper. “Even if the reported incidence of data hacking is relatively low, perception trumps reality. The onus is on companies doing business in the cloud to convince consumers that their data is secure.”
These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted in November 2014. For the survey, a sample of 1,001 Americans ages 18+ was interviewed online. The precision of the Ipsos online poll is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll have credibility intervals of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Figures marked by an asterisk (*) indicate a percentage value of greater than zero but less than one half of one per cent. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding.
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