Canadians skeptical about cloud security, except at work, new study shows

Nearly half of Canadians aren’t comfortable storing sensitive information in the cloud, according to a new study.

Forty-six per cent of Canadians don’t like the thought of storing family information on the cloud, a figure that rises to 52 per cent when it comes to medical information, and 59 per cent for financial information. Citrix Cloud and Security Survey polled more than 1,500 Canadians in February, and also discovered a third of respondents replied with a resounding “no” when asked if they think the cloud is secure.

When asked about cloud security in the workplace, Canadians are less concerned. The study says 62 per cent of employed Canadians felt that documents uploaded to the cloud were either somewhat, or very secure. At the same time, 42 per cent of workers think their employer is solely responsible for maintaining and upgrading security on all devices.


Other stats from the survey:

  • In the workplace, the 18-34 cohort feels most secure storing documents (67 per cent) and the 45-54 and 65+ cohorts feel the least secure (54 per cent)
  • Those with a university education were most likely (71 per cent) to feel secure storing work documents in the cloud; those with a high school education or less were least likely (51 per cent)


The results should be an eye-opener for companies when it comes to cloud security, said Ching Mac, sales director for Citrix Canada.

“These findings demonstrate companies must take a proactive approach to cloud computing and security. This means facilitating and updating secure cloud technology, and enforcing a cloud security strategy in which all employees are engaged,” he said in a press release.

A lot of employees, however – 34 per cent – don’t even know if their company uses cloud services. In addition, more than 40 per cent of all Canadians weren’t sure what the cloud was. Groups most familiar with cloud computing include millennials (75 per cent) high income earners of $100K or more (74 per cent), employed Canadians (71 per cent) and men (69 per cent). Seniors (70 per cent) unemployed Canadians (56 per cent) Atlantic Canadians (53 per cent) and women (51 per cent) were the groups most unfamiliar with cloud, according to the report.

While employees awareness around cloud can prove to be beneficial, Mac said it’s not a necessity.

“To be competitive, businesses must embrace flexibility for their employees, including cloud-based apps and services,” he said. “Citrix Canada wanted to take the pulse of Canadian attitudes and perceptions of cloud for a better insight into the future of work. If corporations have a comprehensive strategy, the company is secure regardless or the level of employee awareness.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Coop
Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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