Many companies are turning to cloud computing services, in part because they can help save money compared to traditional IT investments. But that desire to cut costs often leads to this risky tactic:
Allowing non-IT users and departments to provision cloud computing services on their own without IT’s knowledge or approval.
The use of so-called “rogue cloud” services is becoming more common among businesses. One report released last year by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that between 15% and 30% of a typical company’s IT spending is now going toward cloud computing services that have been provisioned by other departments without IT’s approval.
In addition, 69% of end users admitted in a Symantec survey to using cloud-based email and communication services against company policy, and 59% admitted to using cloud-based file-sharing software.
Now a new report from the antivirus vendor finds that 77% of all businesses have discovered rogue cloud deployments or unauthorized use of cloud computing services in the past year. In addition, close to 30% of the IT pros surveyed say those deployments are increasing.
Prevent rogue cloud computing
In most cases, respondents report that those cloud services are provisioned to help save the company money.
But no matter what the good intentions are, the use of rogue cloud computing has serious negative consequences for IT security. Among businesses that reported unauthorized cloud use, 40% have experienced a breach of confidential information, and 25% faced account takeover issues, website tampering, or stolen goods or services.
One way to prevent those issues: Improve communication so everyone is on the same page regarding the company’s cloud computing strategy. In 20% of reported rogue cloud deployments, the users responsible were unaware they were violating an IT policy.
IT should communicate with other departments and properly communicate the reasons that technical staff need to be involving in choosing and managing cloud services.
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