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Report highlights concern about consumer-grade cloud storage

9/09/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


A new report has shown that over three-quarters of businesses are worried about the safety of consumer-grade cloud storage facilities. In the new collaborative publication from CTERA Networks and Osterman Research, it was shown how businesses must turn to enterprise-grade file sync and share (EFSS) systems if they are to combat growing shadow IT and security concerns.

The findings from the paper are not a huge surprise to many who follow CTERA’s views, with the organisation continuing to push against consumer grade (CFSS) software. In July the company said that three-quarters of businesses want alternative solutions to their file sync and share needs. Rani Osnat, the vice-president of strategic marketing, said a lot of security aspects still need to be worked on, despite companies such as Dropbox and Box having made a concerted effort to bolster their safeguards.

When questioned, 76% of companies said they are at least a little concerned about the CFSS system, with only 5% saying they had no worries at all. The most popular conduit for sharing files amongst employees was email, with 95% of people responding in this way; meanwhile, Microsoft SharePoint was used by 68%, while 58% use IT managed sync and share tools. 42% of the vote was awarded to employee-managed sharing solutions.

The newest report also explained that shadow IT is becoming an increasing issue. Between May 2012 and January 2015 the use of consumer storage apps without prior consent from IT departments continued to grow. Unauthorised enterprise usage of Dropbox in 2012 was at 45%, with 11% gaining approval. Although the approved use in January 2015 had grown to 28%, 49% used the system under the radar.

These findings make it clear that although IT departments might gradually be getting to grips with their employees usage of consumer cloud storage systems, more people are using it for their jobs and many are not seeking approval first; in addition, just 8% of employees gave an A grade to their company’s information security, whilst 84% opting for either a B or C grade.

The UK manager of Dropbox, Mark van der Linden, wrote in July: “The products that are most loved by employees in their personal lives are often the best solutions for businesses too. The solution for CIOs is to see cloud security as an opportunity to choose products that work best for their teams, and at the same time strengthen their organisation’s overall security posture.”

CTERA says, however, that EFSS tools can help to reduce risks when shifting control of data from corporation to individual.

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