Employee cloud storage trends uncovered in latest research

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Research released by WinMagic reveals two thirds of employees do not know their company policy on cloud storage – and its usage is putting business data at risk.

The survey, which quizzed 1,000 office workers at companies with 50 or more employees, found a marked difference in employees’ usage of cloud storage; 41% of respondents said they used cloud services at least once a week, while 42% never touch them.

5% of those who said they use cloud storage once a week do so at the behest of their employer, while just over a third (35%) said they used a company-sanctioned cloud storage solution.

Worryingly, one in 10 employees who use cloud storage services at least once a week admit they have ‘no confidence’ in the security of their data accessed from the cloud. 50% of respondents use personal devices to access work information at least once a week, while a similar number (47%) use company-issued equipment at home every seven days.

The consensus points to a garbled mess, putting data breaches further in the spotlight and giving IT teams permanent headaches. Darin Welfare, EMEA VP at WinMagic, notes the challenges businesses currently face. “One of the key steps that any organisation can take to mitigate the risk from widespread use of unsanctioned cloud services is to ensure that all company data is encrypted before employees have the opportunity to upload to the cloud.

“In the eventuality that the cloud vendor does not adequately put in place control mechanisms and procedures to ensure security across their infrastructure, sensitive and valuable corporate data is still encrypted and cannot be accessed and understood beyond those who have the right to,” added Welfare. “This approach provides the company with the assurance that the IT team is in control of the key and management of all company data before any employees turn to cloud storage services.”

Recent research has shed light on the dissatisfaction customers have with their cloud providers. Earlier this month, a survey from ElasticHosts of UK-based CIOs found more than four in five believe their vendor could do more to reduce the burden on in-house IT staff.

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