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Despite Security Concerns, One Third of Enterprises Place Highly Sensitive Data in the Cloud

Symplified®, the Cloud Identity Company, today released new research that shows one third of enterprises1 place highly sensitive data in the public cloud even though most are wary of the implications on security and other business processes. The findings -- from an independent August 2012 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Symplified -- of US enterprise IT security managers, also found that nearly half of respondents do not think their existing identity and access management (IAM) infrastructures will be able to support cloud applications and provide single sign-on (SSO).

Click to Tweet: @Forrester finds enterprises place sensitive data in the cloud despite security concerns says @Symplified

According to the study entitled “Access Management for the Extended Enterprise: A Timely Challenge,” while most enterprises are concerned about exposing data to the cloud, nearly a third of them already place highly sensitive data like regulated financial (34%) and healthcare information (29%) in SaaS apps. As for their preferred method for consuming cloud security, the top two choices – embedded in the cloud service (23%) and third-party on-premise solution (20%) – were evenly split.

“The data collected shows that IT managers are living with a gap between cloud usage and corresponding cloud security. As solutions for managing cloud access mature, we anticipate IT departments will feel corresponding pressure to improve the fundamental processes of identity management and access management within their own organizations,” said the study. “They must increasingly support business owners in a drive to take advantage of cloud-enabled and mobile-enabled business partnerships — and their ability to execute will be significantly affected by the ability of their IAM systems to adapt.”

Key Survey Findings

Forrester Consulting identified the following key IAM trends:

  • User Provisioning (61%) and SSO/Web Access Management (53%) are the two leading access control priorities for enterprises
  • 52% of enterprises are very concerned or somewhat concerned that their attestation and access request processes won’t fit with their cloud IAM solution
  • 52% were very concerned or somewhat concerned that their infrastructure is not up to date to support cloud IAM protocols
  • 48% of respondents were very concerned or somewhat concerned that their organization needs SSO to non-SAML or non-federated SaaS apps
  • 38% were very concerned or somewhat concerned that their existing IAM infrastructure is incompatible with their cloud IAM solution

“This survey reveals that enterprises recognize the need for cloud identity and access management, but they’re concerned about their ability to integrate these capabilities within existing infrastructures,” said Brian Czarny, vice president of marketing for Symplified. “It’s also clear that supporting non-SAML apps is a big challenge, and that organizations want the ability to choose between cloud-based and on-premises security options.”

Symplified will host a free webinar presenting an in-depth analysis of the Forrester Consulting findings featuring Forrester Research, Inc., principal analyst Eve Maler. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM Mountain Standard Time. To register, click here.

Note to editors: For a full copy of “Access Management for the Extended Enterprise: A Timely Challenge,” please email

About Symplified | The Cloud Identity Company

Symplified provides seamless single sign-on, identity and access management services to help enterprises around the world safely and securely connect users to cloud, web and mobile applications. Symplified is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado and can be found on the Web at

1 Enterprises are defined as organizations with 1,000 or more employees.

About Business Wire
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