Cloud app usage has reached new levels across organizations, with the leader in safe cloud enablement reporting that 25% of organizations are using more than 1,000 apps. The average number of cloud apps continues to grow, with organizations using an average of 730 apps. The modern workplace is utilizing enterprise cloud apps to increase organization productivity, but unfortunately, along with this boost in productivity we are seeing an increase in data at risk:
- 7 out of 10 users with compromised accounts are uploading to cloud apps with a “poor” rating in the Netskope Cloud Confidence Index.
- 6% of logins to CRM cloud apps come from compromised accounts
- 9 out of 10 apps in use today are not “enterprise ready”
- 6% of app users have had their account credentials compromised
Increasing productivity, decreasing risks
Cloud apps are great resources for increasing organization productivity, however they should not be putting the company at risk of attacks. Below are four practical steps that companies can be taking to safely enable cloud app usage:
1. Safeguard sensitive data
Most organizations choose to harmonize on one cloud storage system such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. Organizations should determine which important data is being housed in those apps. Almost 18% of all files in enterprise-sanctioned cloud apps are violating Data Loss Prevention policies. Be careful which ones you choose to use and why/how you choose to use them.
2. Choose a single cloud storage app
Consider choosing a single cloud storage solution, based on employees’ opinions and organizational requirements. Coach employees on how to use the storage app to ensure uptake and ongoing use. Create a solid structure that is easy for employees and departments to understand. When you create your new framework, don’t rush the process. Optimizing your shared drive takes time and planning, but will ultimately make up for lost time in productivity and decreased security risks.
3. Monitor app usage
Companies should not only be choosing which cloud storage apps are in use, but also monitoring the activities within these apps, including uploads, downloads, shares and more. Organizations should monitor data that is in transit with corporate apps, as well as keep a watchful eye on activities surrounding unsanctioned apps in use by employees. There are plenty of apps available that work to help an organization run more efficiently, but many lack strong security. If apps are not provisioned by IT, it becomes difficult for companies to enforce policies on their use. In addition, be watchful of app access from employees who have had their credentials compromised to ensure that someone accessing your cloud storage is in fact an employee.
4. Remove security responsibilities
Most employees do not have much interest or understanding of security risks and policies. Companies should ensure that their IT departments are leading on any security decisions, enabling a culture where employees can operate somewhat free of security responsibilities. Once businesses have selected a cloud storage app, IT should be setting, enforcing and educating all users on secure use of this app.
While increased productivity is important to any organization, it should not come with the risk of security attacks and insecure data. Cloud storage apps offer the resources that companies need to create an efficient office, but they should be researched and implemented by IT and management.