Research by the Ponemon Institute found half of the 4000 business and IT managers surveyed host sensitive or confidential data in cloud environments.
It also found 61 per cent of respondents believe cloud adoption has increased their companies' security posture.
Richard Moulds, product strategy vice president at Thales e-Security, which sponsored the survey, told SC the concept boils down to three areas: what is happening now; who is responsible for protecting data; and who is looking after the keys.
"It is the less sophisticated industries that are moving data to the cloud, as they believe the hype or they are more secure, as they know how to do it selectively so they are relatively safe," he
The research found 38 per cent of respondents said that their organisations rely on the encryption of data as it is transferred over the internet between the organisation and the cloud.
Thirty five per cent said that the organisation applies persistent encryption data before it is transferred to the cloud provider, while 27 per cent said that they rely on encryption that is applied within the cloud environment.
The same number said their organisation was responsible for managing encryption keys, and 22 per cent said the task was handled by thier cloud provider.
Elad Yoran, CEO of Vaultive saud businesses must encrypt their data before sending it to the cloud.
“I would argue it is never the responsibility of the cloud provider. It is my data, my R&D and my business plan in there and I want to maintain the ownership of the keys, it should never be the responsibility of the cloud provider."
Brian Spector, CEO of CertiVox, said key management was a "grey area".
“... you need a capability to control keys and recover encrypted data. If a cloud provider has access to keys or has access to cloud data, why are you putting the data out? This is a grey area with key management as long as we use PKI.”