As cloud adoption continues to rise, fears over data breaches rise with it

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Picture credit: “Leader lock”, by “Sarah Joy”, used under CC BY / Modified from original

Organisations on average use 613 cloud apps, according to the latest study from Netskope – but almost 90% of them aren’t enterprise-ready.

That’s the key takeaway from Netskope’s January 2015 cloud report of millions of users in the Netskope Active Platform, which found that more than one in five organisations have over 1000 cloud apps in use.

Given 15% of users admitted they had their credentials compromised, as well as a quarter of all files in cloud storage apps being shared with at least one person outside the organisation, it’s certain to give CIOs a headache.

Marketing, collaboration and HR departments are least likely to be using enterprise-ready cloud apps – marketing departments polled by Netskope had a whopping 96% of apps not ready.

The report asserts that a growing number of users are logging into their cloud apps using compromised credentials, be it through reused passwords or details which have been stolen through a data hack or exposure. Despite this, cloud adoption continues to grow, with a 6% increase between the last two quarters.

“Employees today have shifted from thinking of apps as a nice-to-have to a must-have,” said Sanjay Beri, CEO and founder of Netskope. “CISOs must continue to adapt to that trend to secure their sensitive corporate and customer data across all cloud apps, including those unsanctioned by IT.”

The most popular enterprise cloud apps, according to the study, were Google Drive, Facebook and YouTube, with Twitter and Gmail completing the top five. This is an interesting comparison, given aside from Google Drive, there were no other storage and collaboration apps in the top five. iCloud (#6), Dropbox (#7), OneDrive (#9) and Box (#10) however all featured strongly.

Despite the worries about what files go where and who has access to what, some organisations are attempting to stem the tide. Veradocs, a Mountain View-based startup, aims to effectively provide a ‘kill switch’ for compromised data, allowing end users and IT to set policies for files and change their in real time.

Cyberattacks such as Heartbleed and Shellshock were cited by Beri as a serious danger last year. “These events underscore the sobering reality that many in the workforce have been impacted by data breaches and will subsequently use compromised accounts in their work lives, putting sensitive information at risk,” he said.

You can download the full report here.

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