Your organisation may already be in the cloud but you don’t know it

Posted on 22 December 2014

We are frequently encountering client employees using cloud services without their IT team’s authorisation.

Often they’re doing it for the best of reasons, they’re sharing their company’s sensitive data with customers, suppliers and each other, all in an effort to get their jobs done faster and easier.

You could already be in the cloud

According to Unisys nearly 40% of workers in the US use an unsupported “bring your own” application or cloud service for work.

Citrix says 60% of US companies have employees who frequently move confidential files to Dropbox without permission.

Frost & Sullivan say 81% of line of business employees admitted to using unsanctioned Software As A Service applications.

What’s wrong with that?

Not to pick on Dropbox, but a closer look at this popular service illustrates some of the problems created by such services:

  1. No control or visibility: Your company can’t control which users are syncing files via Dropbox. They can’t control who has access to shared files. Dropbox won’t let you view an audit log so you can’t see who accessed leaked sensitive data. Dropbox doesn’t support remote wipes. If an employee’s laptop is stolen, Dropbox data can’t be remotely removed.
  2. Detailed permissions: Dropbox doesn’t let you customise read and write privileges for individual users. You can’t therefore protect against accidental overwrites or deletions. Your ability to maintain security and secrecy is therefore also inhibited.

Put together, this means that your company’s sensitive data could be out in the cloud, on servers you don’t know, outside your company’s security policy and regulatory guidelines, and could even be out of your country.

How do you plug the risk of data leakage, security breaches and harm to the company without hampering productivity?

The answer:  Get in front of it

The answer is to get into the cloud and provide collaborative file sharing services yourself, that can provide the security features your company needs and are subject to your own security policies. Don’t let the cloud happen to you. Get in front of it and take control of your data.

Our last word: Dropbox has been successful because it is just so easy to use. Make sure that whatever you put in, is just as easy, otherwise your employees will just migrate back to Dropbox, or whatever they were using before, without telling you.

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