Endpoint Security Shadow IT

The Big Problem of Shadow Data in the Cloud

October 24, 2016

How often do your employees go rogue to set up cloud services without approval from your IT team? Far more than you think. As much as 80% of IT pros say that their end users have gone behind their back to set up unapproved cloud services. There are also plenty of repeat offenders, as 38% of those IT pros report that their end users have done this five or more times. This new data comes from IT community Spiceworks, who recently surveyed 338 IT pros in North America and EMEA on data security, specifically addressing Shadow IT and the Cloud. The resulting data, gathered without a specific technology focus in mind, provides some interesting insight into the connection between cloud adoption and Shadow IT.

The Bigger You Are, The Harder You Fall

While Shadow IT plagues organizations of all sizes and from across all industries, larger organizations face greater vulnerabilities. Spiceworks hypothesizes that as the number of users and associated cloud service grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain oversight. We believe this is true as well. According to the 2016 Shadow Data Report earlier this year, the average organization uses 841 cloud apps. That kind of volume is unmanageable for many companies.

The Spiceworks survey indicates that cloud storage applications such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are believed to be the most vulnerable to attack. Cloud storage is fast and convenient for user productivity, but it’s also one of the biggest vulnerabilities you’ll face when it comes to securing your sensitive data. We’ve seen statistics that indicate that 83% of your employees are using cloud storage applications to share company information on a daily basis. And most of this data is shared without the approval or knowledge of IT. Shadow IT is a big problem in the cloud.

The True Driver Behind Rogue Cloud Use

Although the report included ways that cloud providers improve their data security, individual organizations are ultimately responsible for protecting their own data. Given how much data is flowing into the cloud, it’s time to take a step back and regain control. The true driver behind cloud use is the desire to be productive, so organizations that want to address Shadow Data in the cloud need to be mindful of their dual objectives: embracing new technology to support productivity and regaining visibility and control over data assets.

In our new whitepaper, At-Risk Data in the Cloud: 3 Strategies to Stop the Data Bleed, we look at how true visibility can unmask the insider threat and mitigate the risk of the cloud. Absolute Data & Device Security (DDS) can ensure that employee cloud storage use does not violate corporate data security policies. Using Absolute DDS, you can identify devices with cloud storage software and detect devices with at-risk files being stored (on the device or in the cloud). Ultimately, this allows you to proactively respond to the presence of at-risk data with remote data delete capabilities.

To learn more, get started with your free evaluation version of Absolute DDS today.

Endpoint Security Shadow IT

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