Netskope research shows how cloud malware and ransomware remain issues

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.


According to the latest research from cloud security provider Netskope, almost 44% of malware found in cloud apps have delivered ransomware, while almost 56% of malware-infected files in cloud apps are shared publicly.

The study, which appears in the company’s latest Netskope Cloud Report, found that the number of cloud apps keep going up in enterprises; 824 on average, up from 777 during the last quarter. Microsoft continues to beat Google as the most popular cloud app, with Microsoft productivity apps usurping Facebook from the number one spot, and Office 365, Outlook, and OneDrive beating their competitors in terms of session volume.

Elsewhere, productivity app Slack has entered the top 20 overall apps, while the company was also placed at the top spot in Forbes’ top 100 leading private cloud companies in 2016. Netskope notes that with the rise of such applications, the security element needs to be noted. “Security teams will need to prioritise this trend and pay close attention to sensitive information being shared within collaboration apps, and prioritise visibility into and control over the apps with which Slack is integrated and sharing data,” the press material notes.

Elsewhere, the research also notes that cloud storage apps dominate cloud data loss prevention (DLP) violations, accounting for 76.5% of them. Looking at the various industries, manufacturing-focused enterprises had the largest proportion of DLP violating files with 24%, followed by technology and IT services (15%), and healthcare and life sciences (11%). Not surprisingly, technology and IT featured the most cloud apps on average, with 855, followed by healthcare (836), retail and hospitality (787) and financial services (714).

“With the rise of ransomware, the cloud threat landscape is now increasingly complicated,” said Sanjay Beri, founder and CEO of Netskope. “IT teams need deeper intelligence, protection, and remediation that can help them stop malware and ransomware in their tracks and prevent them from spreading.”

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