Is the cloud flooding your business with dangerous apps Email
Thursday, October 09, 2014 02:14 PM


What if your company’s IT guy found out many people in your office are using unauthorized cloud-based apps?cloud computing service

There are close to 4,000 cloud-based services that can find their way into your company’s computers. Should you care? What’s the threat?

Dropbox, Google Docs and Evernote are such familiar names in many offices that most owners or IT people are probably immune to the fact that employees are using them. Nevertheless, many company managers are surprised to learn how widespread and varied the use of unknown cloud-based apps is right under their noses.

In very large firms chances are the number and variety of these services is beyond anyone’s expectation. One rather large Canadian law firm, for example, found that hundreds of cloud services were in use among their staff. The info that might disturb your IT person the most is that one report found that at least 88% of these services were not up to enterprise standards.

Most disturbing was that the majority of these services were found lacking in basic security features. Consumer apps can present threats to businesses and data loss via consumer apps is possible due to malware or insider threat. Data loss is a threat worth worrying about.

The other side of this coin is that the apps that employees find on the Internet and start using on a whim often boosts their productivity on the job. Do you really want to clamp down on a tool that increases efficiency?

The advice on the street among those in the know is that prohibition of these apps, just like prohibition of alcohol in the last century, won’t be a deterrent. Moderation and monitoring by your company’s IT person is a safer route. Find out what people are using, check out the apps and make informed decisions that are a win for the company’s security and win for the people who are using them.

Resource: "Your Cloud App Strategy is Full of Holes," Ernie Smith, Oct. 7, 2014, ASAE.