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A chunk of security professionals prefer to store sensitive corporate data within their own networks and not in the cloud, a new survey said.

The survey from Lieberman Software and carried out at RSA Conference 2014 in San Francisco and looked at the attitudes of 280 IT security professionals toward cloud security.

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It found that 80 percent of respondents prefer to keep more sensitive data stored within their company’s own network, rather than the cloud; while fear of government snooping discourages 33 percent of IT professionals from the cloud.

Other findings from the survey found cloud applications are also creating problems for IT security professionals, with 75 percent of respondents indicating they cause security headaches for IT departments.

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“IT managers are aware there is very limited data privacy in cloud environments and they therefore prefer to keep their most sensitive assets on premises,” said Philip Lieberman, president and chief executive of Lieberman Software. “Another issue is legislation in the cloud and the fact that IT executives do not want governments probing into their corporate data. If a government or official body wants to see what data a company is holding, the cloud host involved is legally obliged to provide them access.”

Given the attention the NSA surveillance scandal has received it is not surprising that organizations are reluctant to store sensitive data in cloud environments.

However, when Lieberman Software undertook the same survey in November, 2012, 48 percent of respondents were discouraged from using the cloud because of fear of government snooping, while 86 percent of respondents preferred to keep more sensitive data within their own network, rather than the cloud. This essentially means that trust in the security of the cloud increased over the last year, despite the enormous impact of the NSA scandal.

“The fact that the government is snooping within our IT environments and on our phone calls isn’t a big revelation, and when the NSA scandal broke it should not have come as a big surprise to those who work in the security industry,” said Calum MacLeod, vice president EMEA for Lieberman Software.

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