Data security in the cloud remains the top concern for UK businesses, but the fears do not reflect the actual number of breaches, according to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).
Alex Hilton, chief executive of the CIF, said that CIF research found only two percent of UK businesses have reported a security breach in their cloud services.
"Security remains the top inhibitor [to cloud adoption], but that doesn't necessarily follow through in terms of what's actually happening out there," he said, speaking at the Liberating Technology event hosted by cloud firm Cobweb.
The CIF research also found that 78 percent of UK businesses use cloud services, and 79 percent see cloud "as an integral part of their IT strategy".
Despite these figures, Hilton said that concerns over data security, privacy and sovereignty still hold businesses back from completely adopting the cloud, and many dip into it with a hybrid approach of cloud and on-premise systems.
"They are saying: ['Security] is an issue for us. That's our biggest inhibitor, the biggest thing that will hold us back from jumping in and going all the way,'" he said.
Hilton cited data snooping by GCHQ and the US National Security Agency as incidents that deter companies from storing data in the cloud.
However, he said that this is not a particularly realistic concern, as more cloud providers are introducing security and privacy standards that can help deliver "trust and confidence to users".
Hilton went on to say that cloud providers and service vendors should tweak their offerings to fit the specific data regulations and demands of their target markets.
"You adapt your cloud story based on the requirements you have out there, and it's as simple as that," he said.
However, Tim Holman, director at the Information Systems Security Association, who also spoke at the event, said cyber security concerns were important and should be considered accordingly.
"Looking back over the last three or four years, there's been a lot of security breaches. There's huge amounts of data going missing," he said.
"There's no such thing as a vulnerability-free world, and there are issues, but a lot of [cyber security] is just common sense.
"So take a step back when you're looking at the next big thing. You've got to think very carefully about what risk that might bring to your company."
Hilton is not the only person to see cloud security fears as exaggerated. Peterborough City Council IT manager Richard Godfrey said recently that council IT teams have overstated cloud security concerns.
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