Cloud adoption is growing, but companies aren’t taking security into account the way they should. A fresh Ponemon Institute survey shows that many businesses simply aren’t adopting appropriate governance and security measures to protect sensitive data in the cloud.The results show that 73% of respondents deem cloud-based services and platforms important to their organization’s operations, and 81% said they will be more so over the next two years. And in fact, 36% of respondents said their companies’ total IT and data processing needs were met using cloud resources today (a number that will increase to 45% over the next two years).Yet, 54% of respondents said their companies do not have a proactive approach to managing security and complying with privacy and data protection regulations in cloud environments. More than half say their organizations are not careful about sharing sensitive information in the cloud with third parties such as business partners, contractors and vendors.“Cloud security continues to be a challenge for companies, especially in dealing with the complexity of privacy and data protection regulations,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “To ensure compliance, it is important for companies to consider deploying such technologies as encryption, tokenization or other cryptographic solutions to secure sensitive data transferred and stored in the cloud.”The challenges are myriad: For one, difficulty in controlling or restricting end-user access increased from 48% in 2014 to 53% of respondents in 2016. The other major challenges that make security difficult include the inability to apply conventional information security in cloud environments (70% of respondents) and the inability to directly inspect cloud providers for security compliance (69% of respondents). There’s also the shadow IT issue: nearly half (49%) of cloud services are deployed by departments other than corporate IT, and an average of 47% of corporate data stored in cloud environments is not managed or controlled by the IT department.