A recent Intel Security survey of more than 2,000 IT professionals found that 62 percent of companies now store sensitive customer information in the public cloud.

Almost 40 percent of cloud services are now commissioned without the involvement of IT, according to the survey -- and 65 percent of IT pros think that the resulting growth of shadow IT is interfering with their ability to keep the cloud safe and secure.

Fifty-two percent of respondents have definitively tracked malware to a cloud SaaS application.

The survey also found that 49 percent of respondents have slowed cloud adoption due to a lack of relevant cyber security skills, and another 36 percent are experiencing a skills shortage but are continuing with their cloud activities anyway.

The number of organizations using private cloud only has dropped from 51 percent to 24 percent in the past 12 months, while hybrid cloud use has grown from 19 percent to 57 percent.

Fully 93 percent of organizations are now using some form of cloud services.

"The 'Cloud First' strategy is now well and truly ensconced into the architecture of many organizations across the world," Intel Security EMEA CTO Raj Samani said in a statement. "The desire to move quickly toward cloud computing appears to be on the agenda for most organizations."

Separately, a recent Skyhigh Networks survey of 314 IT professionals worldwide also found that cloud adoption is accelerating, with the growth of software-as-a-service (SaaS) running at 10 times the growth rate of IT in general, and the growth of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) running at 20 times that of IT in general.

Notably, 62.9 percent of respondents believe public cloud platforms are just as or more secure than their own data centers.

The survey, conducted in collaboration with the Cloud Security Alliance, also found that while the average enterprise has 464 custom apps deployed (and expects that number to grow by 20.5 percent over the next year), IT security teams are only aware of 38.4 percent of them.

At 72.7 percent of companies, a custom application would significantly impact the organization's ability to operate if it were to experience downtime.

Just over 60 percent of custom applications reside in corporate data centers today, though that number is expected to deline to 46.2 percent over the next year as companies continue to migrate to the cloud.

While 46 percent of business-critical custom applications are already in the public or hybrid cloud today, 64 percent of respondents are moderately or very concerned about the security of custom applications deployed on a public IaaS platform.

Just under 30 percent of respondents believe their company's CIO and CISO would lose their jobs in the event of a catastrophic attacks on a customer application, and more than 50 percent believe the IT security manager responsible for that application would be fired.

"From customer applications to the infrastructure to the teams tasked with managing it all, we're seeing a major evolution in how security needs to be more a focal point when it comes to planning for the increasingly complex needs of business," Cloud Security Alliance CEO Jim Reavis said in a statement.

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