Workers utilizing cloud far more than their employers know

As web-based technologies such as cloud-based CRM and ERP continue to gain popularity, workers are increasingly turning away from traditional storage networks and relying on the cloud more and more. This explosion of cloud activity has made it difficult to keep up for app developers – and, for that matter, for office administrators.

According to CiteWorld, businesses are largely unaware of just how dependent on the cloud their employees have become. Skyhigh, a company that detects what apps users are deploying inside firewalls, told the news source that on average, corporate IT departments tend to believe their employees are using between 25 and 30 cloud apps at a time, but in actuality, that number is more like 300 or 400.

There’s a massive disparity between perception and reality with regard to the cloud explosion. And while the success of the cloud is a good thing for overall business productivity, it’s also alarming that so many companies don’t have the basic awareness required to police their employees’ app use. Rajiv Gupta, chief executive officer of Skyhigh, told CiteWorld that he’s worried about the rapid growth of cloud technology because of its potentially adverse effects on data security.

“Cloud computing is massively disruptive to the IT industry,” Gupta told the news source.

Skyhigh’s role is to investigate cloud apps for potential risks. The service launched in February and now guards about 2 million employees by monitoring firewall logs and running a script to analyze their intrusions. The company uses this data to report back to businesses with a score on their risk levels.

The cloud might be OK after all
The good news is that as sources of risk go, the cloud has been relatively safe in recent years. According to Business Insurance, the cloud has experienced fewer data breach incidents than many traditional storage networks, and when intrusions do happen, they’re not as harmful.

“Most of what we’ve seen happen are breaches that result in downtime, but not the loss of personally identifiable information like customer and employee Social Security numbers and birthdates – at least not yet,” Information Law Group partner David Navetta told the news source.

So far, the cloud has been relatively healthy amid all the cyber-crime out there. But if cloud app use continues to grow in an unchecked manner, risks will persist, and it may only be a matter of time before attacks increase. BMI offers counseling to firms looking to make their cloud adoption efforts as secure as possible.