Survey: Majority Of Americans Unaware Of Cloud Computing

 A majority of U.S. citizens are unaware of how their online data is stored and who secures it, according to a Business Software Alliance (BSA) survey released recently. Approximately one in five U.S. citizens said they were unaware of whether their personal or corporate data is being held “in the cloud,” and 60 percent said they did not know what “in the cloud” means. In addition, BSA’s findings show U.S. citizens are unsure who should be responsible for protecting sensitive, online data.

The findings were released during BSA’s Cybersecurity Forum in Washington, D.C. With more businesses, organizations, individuals and governments choosing to store data online -- a concept known as “cloud computing” -- new cyber crime threats are emerging and cybersecurity is escalating in priority.

“As more information is stored in the cloud, coordination between the public and private sectors is more important than ever to protect personal and corporate data,” said Robert Holleyman, president and CEO of BSA. “What this survey tells us is that there is a lag in the general public’s understanding of the emerging cloud environment and how it impacts their data -- and a lack of consensus on who is responsible for securing the cloud.”

The BSA Cybersecurity Forum in Washington, D.C. convenes government and corporate leaders to discuss current and emerging cyber threats. BSA members, including Microsoft, Symantec, IBM, CA, HP and Intel, and government leaders including Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Honorable Gary Locke, secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, are among the participants discussing public and private sector cybersecurity needs and emerging cyber threats.

At the Forum, BSA will unveil a comprehensive Global Cybersecurity Framework to assist countries in crafting effective national policies and laws to thwart cybersecurity threats.

Poll Highlights:

My Data:

  • Twenty percent of respondents believe that some or all of their personal or corporate data is being held “in the cloud.”
  • Seventeen percent said they were unsure and only four percent said that none of their data was in “in the cloud.”
  • Sixty percent responded “I do not know what ‘in the cloud’ means.”

Cybersecurity Laws:

  • More than 50 percent of U.S. citizens favor cybersecurity laws at a national level.
  • Twenty-six percent of respondents said cybersecurity should be controlled at an international level, and 22 percent said they didn’t know if cloud security should be controlled nationally or internationally.

Protecting Online Data:

  • Approximately 20 percent of respondents said that protecting online data was the responsibility of the businesses that use or store personal and corporate data “in the cloud;” seven percent think software companies are responsible; and five percent think the government is responsible. Fourteen percent of respondents said that securing data “in the cloud” is the responsibility of individuals.
  • More than 30 percent of respondents said that protecting online data was a shared responsibility of individuals, government, software companies and the businesses that use the data, while nine percent said that “no one should be responsible for securing data held ‘in the cloud.’"

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