Two-thirds of cybersecurity professionals are being kept awake at night because they do not know the location of sensitive data, according to a survey by the Ponemon Institute, a research group.
Fears over data location was found to be greater than concerns over hackers or staff mistakes, which troubled 25% and 18% of cybersecurity professionals respectively.
Amit Walia, SVP and GM of data security at security vendor Informatica, said: "Data security represents a fast-growing market opportunity, projected by analysts to grow by 17 percent a year and reach $1.2 billion by 2018.
"The growing societal demand for strengthened data privacy and anticipated legislation around cybersecurity, including notification of data breaches and data residency laws, are just two reasons why data-centric security is becoming so important a tool."
Despite the concerns just over half of those surveyed said securing data was a high priority, with a similar amount saying they had experienced a data breach in the last year.
One in five claimed they would be able to detect data breaches all of the time, a figure that backs up reports of high level breaches in which weeks and months have passed before a cyberattack has been noticed.
Other fears that cybersecurity staff reported included the use of temporary contract workers, who are presumably less trusted than permanent staff, and migrations to mobile or cloud platforms, which can often put data at risk.
The survey also showed a considerable appetite for automation to address these problems, with 73% saying that the data security of their employer would be improved through such tools.