Who Is Going Rogue In The Cloud With Your Corporate Data?

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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SailPoint Market Pulse Survey Illustrates how cloud apps increase the risk of insider threat

One in five employees has uploaded proprietary corporate data to a cloud application, such as Dropbox or Google Docs, specifically intending to share it outside of the company.

This is the finding of SailPoint’s seventh Annual Market Pulse Survey, which suggests that companies around the world have reason to be worried about the use of cloud applications to share mission-critical information.

Clear disconnect

The survey also found a clear disconnect between cloud usage across the business and existing IT controls with an alarming 66 percent of users able to access those cloud storage applications after leaving their last job. And, despite that 60 percent of employees stated they were aware that their employer strictly forbids taking intellectual property after leaving the company, one in four admitted they would take copies of corporate data with them when leaving a company.

SailPoint’s survey was designed to measure employee attitudes toward protecting corporate digital assets. The company commissioned Vanson Bourne, an independent research firm, to interview 1,000 office workers at large companies with at least 3,000 employees across the UK, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US. With only 28 percent of survey respondents stating that corporate policies pay close attention to who is granted access to mission-critical SaaS apps, the survey showcases the complex challenge companies face when trying to manage applications outside of IT’s control, as well as the risk of massive security breaches and internal theft faced by companies.

cloud securityKevin Cunningham, president and founder of SailPoint, said: “The survey results are an eye opener of how cloud applications have made it easy for employees to take information with them when they leave a company. With almost 20 percent of employees purchasing a cloud application for work without involving the IT departments, combined with the ability for employees to use consumer cloud apps for work activities, it’s virtually impossible to manage access to applications and the sharing of mission-critical data. In order to establish control over this ‘bring your own app’ phenomenon, it’s critical to provide specific incentives for end users to follow corporate policy such as offering users a seamless login experience in exchange for using a central access control framework.”

The Market Pulse Survey focused on specific regions to help companies gain a better picture of the progress of security controls around sensitive information. The key findings of employee actions around the globe include:

Employees who have uploaded a sensitive document to share outside their companies via a cloud application (such as DropBox, Box or Google Docs): Australia (11 percent); France (20 percent); Germany (17 percent); Netherlands (13 percent); UK (18 percent); and US (22 percent)

Employees who have purchased and/or deployed a cloud application (such as Salesforce.com, Concur, Workday, DropBox, DocuSign etc.) without the help of IT: Australia (14 percent); France (14 percent); Germany (16 percent); Netherlands (18 percent); UK (21 percent) and UK (24 percent)

Employees who are aware of corporate policy that pays close attentions to who is granted access to cloud applications with mission-critical data: Australia (24 percent); France (27 percent); Germany (28 percent); Netherlands (24 percent); UK (30 percent) and US (29 percent)

Employees who were able to access corporate data via cloud storage applications (including Dropbox and Google Docs) after they left their companies: Australia (56 percent); France (70 percent); Germany (70 percent); Netherlands (61 percent); UK (61 percent) and US (69 percent)

Employees who are aware of corporate policies against taking intellectual property when they leave their companies: Australia (68 percent); France (49 percent); Germany (58 percent); Netherlands (57 percent); UK (60 percent) and US (61 percent)

Employees who admitted they would take any corporate data when they left their jobs: Australia (21 percent); France (24 percent); Germany (16 percent); Netherlands (15 percent); UK (26 percent) and US (27 percent)

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