News Feature | February 20, 2014

Beware Of "Careless Users In The Cloud"

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson

Cloud User Vulnerabilities

A services and solutions provider surveyed 1,000 full-time workers in the United States and Canada and found employees who use cloud-based apps have some bad habits that could result in security breaches and data loss. As you create cloud-based solutions for your customers, you should advise them to be aware of employee practices that could undermine data security.

Softchoice’s survey “Careless Users In The Cloud And What IT Can Do About It,” reveals that employees whose workplaces utilize Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps are often more careless about password security, file transfer, and IT compliance. This can be attributed, in part, to technology becoming so prevalent in employees’ day-to-day lives that the way they approach using technology at work is changing. 

For example, with more SaaS apps, there are often more passwords to remember. Of those surveyed, 36 percent accessed five or more apps on the job each day. SaaS app users are three times more likely to store passwords in an unprotected document — and two times more likely to display passwords on sticky notes.

The survey also looked at file transfer practices. Compared to non-SaaS users, SaaS app users are two times more likely to email work files to their personal accounts, four times more likely to try to log into an account associated with a former job, and 16 times more likely to access work files through apps their IT departments don’t know they have.

Softchoice makes some recommendations in its report on the survey. First, your customers can develop a companywide password security protocol—or consider a single-sign-on solution to access all apps in your directory. To enable employees to access files outside the office, your customers can select a cloud-based collaboration platform to be used companywide — and consider adding a mobile device strategy and a mobile device management tool. Also their IT departments can report “shadow IT” use to employees — instead of just blocking and removing unauthorized apps —and educate employees about company-approved alternatives.

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